Gallery r presents a panoramic display of ‘A Season of Festivals,’ Sept. 5-29

Show is a must-see during 2013 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

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RIT professor Frank Cost took this photo during the 2012 Fourth of July celebration on Rochester’s Main Street bridge.

Rochester is known for celebrating summertime fun—and “A Season of Festivals” will bring smiles to those who visit Gallery r’s September exhibition.

Viewers may even spot themselves, or their families and friends, in the photographic displays and accompanying book, A Season of Festivals, by Frank Cost, professor and program chair in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology. Cost shares his photographic journey in a chronological series of panoramic pictures of the 2012 Rochester festival season—from the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival in early May to Greentopia Festival at High Falls in mid-September.

“A Season of Festivals” begins with an opening reception and book launch from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 5, First Friday citywide gallery night from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, and a meet and greet from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 21, during the 2013 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. The show runs through Sept. 29.

Cost says winter in Rochester is long, and people try to make up for their seasonal hibernation with a furious pursuit of summertime outdoor experiences, including a variety of festivals.

“Many of the festivals have themes that influence the mix of people attending,” Cost explains in his artist statement. “The annual Street Machines of Rochester car show held each June is perhaps the best example. Music, crafts and ethnic foods are other common festival themes.

“Each festival is also colored by location, whether in the historic neighborhoods like Corn Hill or Park Avenue, on bridges spanning the Genesee River, in commercial districts like the Public Market or East End, or perched above the gorge at High Falls.”

Zerbe Sodervick, Gallery r director for RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, says the exhibition will feel like endless summer, with the installation “running like a highway” on a single 140-foot long piece of paper that will wind through the entire two-room gallery.

“It’s big, with a mural-like look, and visitors can stroll through the calendar of seasons and see themselves having fun, enjoying life in Rochester, N.Y. We love festivals because they offer us enriching experiences at our doorstep.”

Gallery r, located at 100 College Ave., sits adjacent to Lumiere Photo, home to Spectrum Gallery, and is just a few yards from the Memorial Art Gallery and Village Gate. The gallery space is under the helm of RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and offers students the same challenges and expectations that confront established artists—focusing on diverse exhibitions, educational opportunities and collaborations with the public, other arts institutions and community groups.

Gallery r is handicapped 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.