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Art is All Around Us

November 5th, 2011

Art can be many things. And as Bob Ross often said, 'You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.'
If there’s one thing the Great Recession can teach us, it’s that one need not pay an admission fee and tip toe through the great white halls of the Memorial Art Gallery to be able to enjoy fine art. Rochester’s streets are a hotbed of modern artistic expression. All too often we dismiss street art as thoughtless vulgarity or worthless scribble. I say it depends on the frame; and the lens.

Throw on a French beret and grab your monocle. We’re hitting the streets and public spaces of Rochester to broaden our understanding of what art is…

Art sometimes forces us ask difficult questions. For example, is this a tribute to Bob Ross, or an imploration to NEVER become him? Regardless, he was a true American master. And a whole new generation now enjoys his great big puffy fro each day on their way to school. My favorite Bob Ross quote: “You can do anything you want to do. This is your world. You know me, I gotta put in a big ole tree.”
Art sometimes forces us ask difficult questions. I can't quite tell if this is a tribute to Bob Ross, or a vow to never become him.

Art usually has an important message —
if you read between the lines…
Art usually has an important message if you read between the lines.

Art is sometimes a bit cheeky. ‘The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls’ says the guy writing on railing above the subway entrance…
Art is sometimes a bit cheeky. 'The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls' says the guy writing on railing above the subway entrance.

Art is often politically charged. Or risqué. Or both.
This billboard was taken down last week…
Art is often politically charged. Or risqué. Or both. This billboard was taken down last week.

Art can be provocative…
Art can be provocative.

Art can be poignant…
Art can be poignant.

Art can be whimsical…
Art can be whimsical.

Whimsical #2…
Whimsical #2

Art challenges the status quo…
Art challenges the status quo.

Art sometimes makes us ask, “Is this art?”
Art sometimes makes us ask, 'Is this art?'

Sometimes art is classy…
Sometimes art is classy.

Sometimes it’s not…
Sometimes it's not.

Sometimes it’s just darn funny…
Sometimes it's just darn funny.

And sometimes … art is profoundly wonderful.
And sometimes... art is profoundly wonderful.

Extra Credit:

The photos above are all local. The first person who can correctly pinpoint the location of just five (5) of these artworks will win a free Rochester Subway poster… a great gift for you or a friend!

One of the locations should be obvious to you – it’s revealed in the post.

Here’s another hint: 5 of the photos are within the City of Rochester. The rest are in the suburbs. Post your answers in the comments or on the RocSubway Facebook pageexternal link and get your friends to help. Have fun out there!

UPDATE: Extra Credit is now closed. We have a winner! Congratulations Michael Rodriguez. The answers are:
1. Bob Ross: Rail bridge over S. Union St. Spencerport
2. Don’t Text: Rail bridge over 490 to 590 north
3. Words of Prophets: South Ave and Court St.
4. War: Saint Paul St. on north side of rail bridge
5. PatRIOT: Rail bridge over 590 south at 490
6. Peace Sign: Henrietta & Nelson St, Rochester
7. Whimsical 1: Titus Ave @ Irond Town Hall
8. Whimsical 2: Saint Paul & Winona, Irondequoit
9. No Originality: Canal Path, Martha St. bridge, Spencerport
10. No Poop zone: Canal Path, Spencerport
11. Say Please: 8 Rundel Park, Rochester
12. Missing: 120 Park Ave
13. Flexsteel Truck: W. Henrietta Rd
14. Love Life: A rock at SeaBreeze/Irond. Bay pier

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at 12:51 am and is filed under Art + Culture, Opinion, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “Art is All Around Us”

  1. RaChaCha says:

    Good stuff! I love the graffiti art in the subway tunnel, as well — and some of it is really top-notch. Pixar should recruit for animators in Rochester :-)

    @HeyRaChaCha

  2. twoeightnine says:

    “Don’t text your life away” is at the 490/590 interchange.

    “No Poop Zone” is in Pittsford along the Canal at Schoen Place.

    “NO SUCh Thing” is also along the Canal at one of the locks, I think it’s Pittsford. I know I’ve seen that tag there but it could be at multiple places.

    The “words of the prophets” is obviously at the subway entrance.

    And “sometimes it’s darn funny” is on the back of a truck.

  3. @TwoEightNine, you got two. The shots of “No Poop Zone” and “No Such Thing” are not Pittsford. Also, the back of the truck is a good guess, but we’re looking for geographic locations! :-)

    @Adrian, readers of RochesterSubway.com have been well exposed to the great works of art in the subway tunnel. The subject of this post is as its title implies, the art that’s all around us. Thanks for the link to the mural. Very cool.

    PS – I’ll reveal the locations of these shots next week. Keep the guesses coming.

  4. Carl Appleton says:

    Um… that’s art? Maybe you should take a walk down into the subway…

  5. Rob says:

    I think “Never” is a graf artist’s name. There’s a big Never tag on one of the bridges over 390 North, just before the Mount Hope/East River Road exit, by the U of R.

  6. @Carl, I’ve already addressed that above. But this is the million dollar question… What IS art? Is this art?

    @Rob, good point. I think you’re right. Never should be careful about signing all of his works. Best to keep a low profile in his line of work I’d say :-)

  7. BK says:

    This may be art by some academics profound justification but the art isn’t very good and the commentary isn’t particularly perceptive.

  8. Michael Rodriguez says:

    Alright I’m going to take a crack at this!

    Bob Ross – St Paul St. / Railroad Bridge Overpass

    “Don’t Text” – 490 to 590 interchange

    “Words of Phophets” – Subway entrance

    “You can’t spell patriot” – 590 to 490 interchange

    “No Such thing as originality” – Pedestrian walkway under railroad by Highfalls/ Innerloop on ramp near State St.

    “No Poop Zone” – Marsh Road / Erie Canal in Bushnells Basin

    “Missing” – First Unitarian Church

    Flexsteel Truck – On West Henrietta Rd. in Brighton by the Tint Shop and Firehouse

  9. Ooh! You got 4 out of 8! Keep trying. You’ll get there.

  10. Michael Rodriguez says:

    Oh! the “Missing” one is 120 Park ave! (thank you clue on the awning!)

  11. We have a winner! Congratulations Michael Rodriguez. The answers are:
    1. Bob Ross: Rail bridge over S. Union St. Spencerport
    2. Don’t Text: Rail bridge over 490 to 590 north
    3. Words of Prophets: South Ave and Court St.
    4. War: Saint Paul St. on north side of rail bridge
    5. PatRIOT: Rail bridge over 590 south at 490
    6. Peace Sign: Henrietta & Nelson St, Rochester
    7. Whimsical 1: Titus Ave @ Irond Town Hall
    8. Whimsical 2: Saint Paul & Winona, Irondequoit
    9. No Originality: Canal Path, Martha St. bridge, Spencerport
    10. No Poop zone: Canal Path, Spencerport
    11. Say Please: 8 Rundel Park, Rochester
    12. Missing: 120 Park Ave
    13. Flexsteel Truck: W. Henrietta Rd
    14. Love Life: A rock at SeaBreeze/Irond. Bay pier

  12. Feel free to post links to photos!

  13. Director Bob says:

    Great post. Great photos. Thank you!


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