Monday, April 18, 2011

a place that defies description

Artisan Works, in Rochester NY is hard to describe - it's a museum, a gallery, a trip through an uber-art & craft marketplace, a space to hold an event or celebration, home to artists-in-residence and working artists' studios, and over 500,00 works of the most creative original artwork I've ever seen. It's almost 40,000 ft of sheer creative zing, and from what I've been told, the brainchild and creative genius of one man. If you live or find your self anywhere near Rochester, this is a place to be seen. Every inch from floor to ceiling, heck, even INCLUDING the ceiling, is covered with something you want to see, paintings, painted glass, assemblages, full-size wooden cars and motorcycles, giraffes, zebras, lions & elephants, furniture, and more. There's theme rooms, including a Frank Lloyd Wright room, a Marilyn Monroe room, a room filled with Kodak cameras of every sort imaginable (remember Rochester is Kodak's home), a retro room, a frightening dental office, a triangular movie theater room, and more more more......

This past weekend, as you may know, we were in Rochester for ArtAwake and to see our soon-to-graduate-college son Ben. On Sunday, with the event over, he had some time to spend with us before we went home, so I had previously suggested the University's Memorial Art Gallery. Ben isn't a big fan of 'boring' art museums, and while we understand that the MAG is a very nice museum, he suggested we visit Artisan Works instead and we went willingly. Wise choice, Ben.
Here, Ben becomes part of a Dali-esque setting.

Below is a great place to host a dinner party, or event of some sort. There's also a large room where you could hold a wedding, and various other event spaces scattered throughout the facility.

The image on the left (below) is part of an assemblage called "The Information Highway", and the wall lamp on the right-hand image is in the Marilyn Monroe theme room. The painting below that was hanging in the movie theater.

That's Dan with a Civil War chess set that he found upstairs in the firehouse theme room. It's on a really cool table/chair set. The door below is one of many in the building that are works of art.


  1. Don't know if you realized you said you wanted to go there this summer. It was the venue for out friends wedding this summer. Imagine dancing among all the art! Carefully well not too carefully they are Irish and had their fam from Ireland their doing lots of crazy jigs!

  2. Oh my gosh, Erica, I'd forgotten about your post, but I went back and found it here:

    In November, I picked up a brochure about the place when I went to my state art teachers conference in Rochester and knew the name sounded familiar, but it got tucked away with the rest of my conference materials and I forgot all about it. This was my son's first trip there as well, but he'll be back I'm sure. He was so sorry he forgot his own (good digital SLR) camera.

    I think the thing is, the place is hard to describe. It's got to be seen! I kept saying "what a great place for a really funky wedding!" the whole time I was there.

  3. Great timing! One of my students is on a road trip up there with his dad. Thanks to the magic of the smart phone, I can send this to them and maybe they can visit!

  4. Some of the pics you posted. . . I never even saw or remember those spaces. So much to see it's a visual overload!