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Past Exhibitions | 2020

Each year, Rochester Art Center presents a wide array of contemporary art exhibitions. These exhibitions offer visitors the opportunity to connect with art by local, regional, and nationally working artists. 

Sophia Chai: Sight Lines

January 24, 2020 - April 11, 2020

In our image craving world based around the photography centric social media woven into our daily lives, Sophia Chai’s art pauses to consider photography’s inner workings of light and space. By doing so she questions the normalized perception produced by the camera and therefore all normalized and calcified modes of perception.

Chai’s process is performative and reliant on the parameters of the space in which she produces her art, her studio. Painting directly onto the walls and floors of the space, the corners turn into folds, large shapes expand and retract, all depending on where she positions her camera. Taking photos of the painted space, multiple photographs of the exact same painted walls turn into entirely new compositions of color and shape. The viewer might feel tricked by their own eyes, question what it is that they are really seeing, questioning the space and the sense of what they know or take for granted. The intention is to look closely at the issues of perception: how we see, know, and how we come to believe.


Innocent Predators | Shah Noor Shafqat

July 1, 2020 – October 11, 2020

Innocent predators are a series of characters based on the power of babies to control the adults in their lives. The concept comes from the fact that babies are continually consuming breast milk, as well as the mental and physical strength of their mothers. Babies turn their mothers into puppets by controlling them and making them do things the way they want. Babies know that their mothers are helpless because they will do anything for them out of love.


Prescription Gardens | Jess Hirsch

June 1 , 2020 - October 1, 2020

Prescription Gardens includes three outside gardens planted around Rochester. Each one hosts plants that treat the mind states of greed, aversion, and delusion found within Buddhist philosophy. When you enter a garden, a small bench beckons you. You sit amongst the flowers and call a phone number. The plants growing before you are identifiable by small


Grief Unmasked

July 1, 2020 – November 1, 2020

Rochester Art Center is hosting a very special collaboration with the Center for Grief Education and Support (CGES)/Seasons Hospice. CGES developed grief support groups in all three Rochester public high schools and two middle schools, open to students who have suffered a loss due to death. In collaboration with the school counselors and art teachers, CGES initiated mask making as a way to create a personal, visual expression of grief to depict their loss. The children’s masks and their own written testimonies will fill a third-floor gallery space including photos and a video of interviews with the children by documentarian John Kaul, who has been photographing and videotaping the students throughout the process.


Shadow Form, The Human Body’s Secret Life | Jessalyn Finch

January 24, 2020 - February 29, 2020

Shadow Form, The Human Body’s Secret Life (2020) is a collection of life-size charcoal drawings that explore the associations we have with our human body. The nude form is utilized as the physical concept of the mind’s shadow, a vessel separate from the mind itself. The work portrays life experiences and feelings that models shared with the artist about their form. These stories about the body’s function, beauty, or abilities affect both the way that we move through this world, and how we are viewed by others.


Electric Arc | Emma Beatrez

October 21, 2020 – December 6, 2020

Rochester Art Center is excited to announce a new exhibition in collaboration with the Masters of Fine Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Emma Beatrez is the first artist to exhibit as part of this new exhibition program, she was selected out of a pool of candidates of recent graduates from MCAD MFA through a jury selection process. (body vibration, memory friction, information fog, shifting sound, overtone, fluid image, sculptural transparencies, imposition, grid, meditation, resonance, emptiness, fluidity, space, transference, system, funnel, presence, frequency, light, sound, material)


Expressions of Clinician Well-Being

September 10, 2020 - November 22, 2020

Expressions of Clinician Well-Being collects insights directly from clinicians, patients, their loved ones, and organizations working to prevent burnout and promote well-being. By allowing people to creatively express their experiences with burnout, this gallery captures important moments in the journey to well-being.


Creative Confinement: Art Under Quarantine

July 1, 2020 – January 17, 2021

Stopped in our tracks, mid stride, we were going about our regular lives and then….shut inside, cut off from friends and extended family, as well as work. We found ourselves reorienting our priorities, educating our children from home, seeking nooks and crannies to find a work space at home for days, then weeks to months. Though the shelter-in-place has lifted, most will continue on the same as under quarantine, staying home to keep ourselves and others safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Mercy to Mankind: A Collection of Masterpieces | Ayub Hajiomar

November 18, 2020 - April 18, 2021

Ayub HajiOmar explores contemporary matters via the Quran. In his larger than life paintings, he uses vibrant colors and universal symbols as a bridge for all to the Quran. Written in gold, the Quran is quoted in Arabic directly on his paintings. Through his artwork, he seeks to promote peace and tolerance while giving the viewer an opportunity to learn more about Islam.


Lifeline: Portraits of Rochester Essential Workers by Local Artists

July 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021

Lifeline: Portraits of Rochester Essential Workers by Local Artists honors local heroes. Eighteen local artists were brought together to create portraits currently exhibited at the Rochester Art Center in the second floor City View gallery.


Scrupulosity | Kieran McDonnell

December 23, 2020 – March 7, 2021

Scrupulosity features a new series of paintings and mixed media sculptures that draw attention to Scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is defined by the International OCD Foundation as “A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine.


Virtual Galleries

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Homecoming Queen: The Wonderful World of Utica Queen

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75th Anniversary Exhibition

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