Gallery r Debuts First Exhibition in New Space on College Avenue

RIT student-run gallery opens with ’Prologues‘ on Dec. 1

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Empty Baskets by Elizabeth Kronfield

Opening day beckons: The lights are on, the first exhibition is hung and the students are ready to greet Rochester’s art enthusiasts.

It had to be destiny that Gallery r would find a new home at 100 College Ave.—especially since the student-run metro showcase is now under the expansive wing of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Gallery r invites the Rochester community to an opening exhibition of “Prologues” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 1, followed by an open house from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 2. First Friday is the monthly citywide gallery night that encourages gallery hopping, in collaboration with regional nonprofit, university and commercial venues.

“Prologues” runs through Jan. 4 and features works by three recognized artists: Robin Cass, professor in the glass program at RIT’s School for American Crafts; Elizabeth Kronfield, associate professor in RIT’s Department of Fine Arts; and Karen Sardisco, assistant professor of fine arts at Monroe Community College.

Gallery r rose to an auspicious start when it first opened its doors on Park Avenue in 1999. It attracted more than 1,500 local visitors during its grand opening held during the Park Ave Summer Art Fest. The following 12 years encompassed more than 150 diverse exhibits—ranging from senior shows to college, regional and international group exhibitions.

“We were so thankful to have an art showcase in the city that reflects the talent and creativity of our RIT students, faculty and alumni,” says Zerbe Sodervick, gallery coordinator and director of extended studies at RIT.

The gallery outgrew its space and an ongoing search began for a permanent location. According to Sodervick, College Avenue was the perfect fit. Gallery r sits adjacent to Lumiere Photo, home to Spectrum Gallery, and is just a few yards from the Memorial Art Gallery and Village Gate.

Gallery r was formerly managed by the Fine Arts Studio program at RIT. The new venue is a collaboration of programs representing the entire College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and is enthusiastically supported by its new dean, Lorraine Justice.

“This means we will now expand our gallery to include film, animation, design, print media, as well as provide more exhibition space for all of the arts,” Sodervick says.

Gallery r is handicap accessible, features easy street and off-street parking, and is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. All exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information, call Zerbe Sodervick at 585-475-4977.