The summer festival season in Rochester continues this weekend with the 43rd edition of the Park Ave Summer Art Fest on Saturday, Aug 3 from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Aug 4. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This annual celebration of arts and culture stretches for a mile and a quarter along Park Avenue from Alexander Street to Culver Road. Every year, this part of the picturesque Park Avenue neighborhood transforms into a mecca of shopping and entertainment. Better yet, admission is completely free.
Over 350 artists, exhibitors, and craftspeople from the U.S. and Canada set up between the curb and sidewalk. With more than 40 festival food favorites adding to the already culinary-rich landscape of Park Avenue, you can easily indulge in the $7.99 billion U.S. food and drink industry. As festival-goers flood Park Avenue to visit each booth, eat as much food as possible, and go to the stages that have a rotating schedule of musicians, the street closes to vehicular traffic.
To avoid any confusion when you arrive at the festival, let’s run through the arts and entertainment that you can’t miss and take a look at how they’re handling parking and safety.
The focal point of Park Ave Fest is its mass celebration of the creative spirits local to the Rochester area. This year is no different. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind pieces to give to your loved ones at the holidays or to decorate your own home, you won’t lack for choice at Park Ave Fest. There will be booths selling:
Pieces crafted from wood
Body care products
Fiber accessories, apparel, and crafts
And much more!
The best part of shopping at Park Ave Fest is that you’re able to interact with the artisan you’re supporting. Many of the booths are run by women-owned businesses and while they may not be among the percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies who made history by topping 5% for the first time in 2017, these hard-working women deserve your support. By buying from them, and all of the other deserving artisans, you’ll be helping real families.
Music and Entertainment
To break up your day of perusing, the organizers of Park Ave Fest have crafted a lineup of musicians to fill every hour of the two-day festival. There will be three stages along the length of Park Avenue and the first bands go on at 10:15 in the morning. At the east end of the festival, there will be the Alexander Stage on the corner of Alexander Street and Park. In the center of the festivities is the Oxford Stage on the corner of Park and Oxford Street. The third stage will be the Somerton Stage at the west end of Park Avenue between Somerton Street and Culver Road.
As a festival built for families, there will be a Kids Park designed to entertain the little ones. This shady tree-lined park will be on the Park Avenue side of the Rochester Museum & Science Center.
Kids can enjoy a wide variety of activities including bounce houses, Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure, a Euro Bungee attraction, and a rock-climbing wall. While 45% of Americans have trouble falling asleep, your kids will have no problem drifting off the dreamland after a day filled with these fun activities. To further ensure you tire out the tykes, there will be additional bounce houses, obstacle courses, and other interactive inflatables for young festival-goers in the 7-Eleven parking lot near the corner of Park Avenue and Berkley Street.
Parking and Street Closures
To get to the festivities, you’ll need to know a bit about where you can park and what roads will not be accessible. Road closures during big events like this are essential in preventing car accidents, which injure 3 million people every year in the United States. Luckily, the only road closure will be where the festival is setting up. Between Alexander Street and Culver Road, Park Avenue will be closed from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Aug 3 and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug 4.
Parking will be available on one side of the side streets in the Park Avenue neighborhood. As these spots will be in high demand, the Greek Orthodox Church of Annunciation located at 962 East Ave is offering off-street parking for $5 per car.
Free parking will be available behind Gleason Works on University Avenue and at Monroe Square on Monroe Avenue. To transport you from these free lots to the festival, there will be roundtrip shuttle service for $3 that runs throughout the day. The shuttle is accessible for wheelchairs and there will also be a limited number of handicap parking spots available at Parkleigh, located on the corner of Park Avenue and Goodman Street.
For general information on the festival when you’re there, you can go to the Festival Office just west of Oxford Street.
There will also be first-aid service available next to the 7-Eleven parking lot. If you feel ill during the festival, don’t hesitate to visit the first-aid tent or go to an urgent care center nearby, which can often provide expert medical treatment with wait times of 30 minutes or less. Anyone who sees suspicious activity during the festival or becomes separated from their child should seek the help of Rochester Police Officers, who will be on patrol throughout the festival, or Festival Block Captains who will be wearing light blue polo shirts and bright yellow messenger bags.
With a sunny weather forecast, it’s sure to be the perfect weekend for Park Ave Fest. Step out of your homes and give your HVAC systems a break from keeping you cool by stopping by the festival this Saturday or Sunday. You’ll eat delicious food, hear wonderful music, discover new artists, and make memories that will last for years to come.
Tattoos are becoming more and more popular every year, with 47% of Millennials and 36% of Gen Xers saying they have at least one tattoo. In total, that turns out to be 45 million Americans with ink. This turns out If you have yet to get your first tattoo, your best chance might be quickly approaching, as local tattoo shop Love Hate Tattoo hosts the 11th annual Roc City Tattoo Expo. The expo features a variety of local and visiting tattoo artists, piercers, vendors, and more, and will take place between April 26th and 28th this year.
Eleven Years And Counting
Each year the popular expo has taken place, more and more visitors have stopped by to witness impressive body artists at work or get a piece done themselves. The expo has featured over 400 artists and gathered over 3,000 guests in previous years, and the number only continues to grow as the expo gains attention.
While conferences and expos are the most popular type of event to plan with 62.4% of organizers planning these types of events, tattoo expos like this one are less frequent. The organizer, Joseph DiProjetto of Love Hate Tattoo, has stated that he originally planned the expo eleven years ago as a way to gather some of his favorite artists. Now, the tattoo expo has grown to feature artists from as far away as Japan.
Tips For Attending
If you plan on attending the expo and getting a tattoo, it’s best to show up with a plan in mind. Many artists will have flash sheets available for quick tattoos at reasonable prices and will be accepting walk-up appointments. However, for those looking for a custom tattoo, a larger piece, or a more complex design, consider reaching out to your preferred artist in advance for an appointment. With how busy the expo is likely to be this year, this will give you a better chance at securing an appointment.
The event website features a growing list of artists who will be featured at the expo, giving you the opportunity to research their styles in advance. If you’re looking for a newer style, like the currently trending embroidery style of tattoo, be sure to ask your preferred artist in advance if they’re able to work in this style. Not every artist will be willing to try a new style in the expo setting, but it’s worth asking to get your preferred result.
More information about the Roc City Tattoo Expo can be found either on the event website or by contacting the Holiday Inn at 70 State St. Admission is $10 per day or $25 for the full weekend, and parking will be available.
Rochester Makerspace is hosting a Sunday Artists and Makers Expo on May 22 from 2 PM to 5 PM. Bring your friends or family and enjoy live music, plenty of refreshments, and an eclectic collection of artwork, crafts, and maker projects on display…
I received an email last week from George Conboy, Chairman of Brighton Securities. He asks, “Have you seen anywhere a photo of the transportation mural that was behind the long ticket counter at the old airport? I remember it as a vaguely Art Deco theme of general transportation with an emphasis, of course, on air transport.”
Mr. Conboy explained that he used to fly a lot during the “glory days” of air travel back in the 1960s when he was a kid. “I just liked that old mural. I used to see it all the time and it has always been in my mind.”
This is a great question. I had been told of this mural before but have never seen it myself. Photos of it online are practically non-existent, so this one will require some digging…
A local collective of artists/illustrators known as Hope Mountain have been publishing art books in Rochester for the past 4 years. Now they’re in the middle of Kickstarting this year’s Volume 5 and they’re asking for our help…
You might have stepped out of your house any day this month and thought to yourself, ‘Self, it’s kinda cold out. Maybe even colder than normal.’ If you did, you’re correct , it was the coldest month on record. If you did not, then please consult your doctor.
From local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…
Preface: I am a total geek and I have stopped caring who knows it. With that out of the way, one of my favorite things in the world to do is study old maps. And my favorite part of old maps are the titles! I told you, total… geek.
I’ve always been amazed at how much attention used to go into the details of these hand-drawn works of art. These days all we do is send a satellite up into space, or someone out to drive around and snap pictures of our streets – and don’t get me wrong, that’s pretty neat for other reasons. But Google streetview ain’t got nuthin on this. Go ahead, geek out…
With the holidays starting earlier and earlier each year, there’s a good chance many of you have already gotten a jump on your shopping lists. And if you’re looking for some local gift ideas, this one is for you…
A new collaborative art exhibit will open Sunday, May 11, at ARTISANworks . “Rochester (& Other) Landmarks” features the work of local photographer, Jonathan White, and graffiti artist, Antonio “Chico” Garcia.
To the average viewer the work may come across as a bit of a train wreck; seemingly random doodles, awkwardly juxtaposed against a familiar urban landscape. But like any good wreck, once it catches your eye, you’ll find it impossible to look away…
Local balloon artists Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle are hard at work right now constructing an enormous, 5-story tall beanstalk entirely out of balloons in the atrium of Rochester’s landmark Sibley Building.
Unlike previous haunted “Balloon Manors” you may remember at area shopping malls, admission is completely free for the public to come and enjoy this one. Balloon Manor: The VERY Tall Tale of Jack and his Beanstalk is due to be completed today, and open for viewing thru Sunday, February 9…
In 2013 I gave myself a photo assignment. Pick 13 subjects, and take 13 snapshots of each… 13x13x13. Turns out this was much more work than I thought. So I’ve been accepting submissions from others. Today’s series of 13 comes to us from Tiny Fish Printing , a custom apparel printing company located near the public market.
T-shirts are an American staple. We all have our favorite one that we wear until our belly button shows through. They’re a great way to show our support for our favorite local institutions… restaurants, bands, clubs, etc. They allow us to show off our creative side, even we don’t have a creative bone in our body. And best of all, they keep us from being naked.
Uh, ok… Let’s just take a look at 13 awesome local t-shirt designs…
Are you looking for gift ideas this holiday season? Here’s one that’s sure to fill any proud homeowner with good cheer. Local artist Kimberly Kllc DiPietro makes awesome little house ornaments out of Sculpey®! There can’t possibly be a better way to commemorate one’s home than with America’s favorite oven-baked clay…
I went to a big expensive university to study art for four years. I’ve traveled to Italy and marveled at the work of the great masters. I’ve gone out of my way to tip-toe through all the fancy art museums and galleries in New York and Toronto.
Earlier in the week I rode my bike down Rochester’s El Camino Trail. I’m not sure why, but art has never taken my breath away quite like this…
In 2013 I gave myself a photo assignment: Take 13 snapshots of 13 different subjects. Early on, someone suggested I do a series of traffic signal boxes – you know, the ones with the murals painted on them? At first I thought the idea was a little too obvious. I also thought many of the murals to be a little cliché. But soon I began to notice these things everywhere I looked. And then I felt like I couldn’t not do it.
While they may not be master works of art, these murals are definitely a unique part of our landscape. Some of them are kind of folksy; some are tongue-in-cheek; and many tell a story about the neighborhood. So, with the help of my friend Nicholas Swann , here are 13 of our favorite murals on traffic signal boxes…
Oh, and you’ll notice an extra one at the end. I’ve decided to paint one in my own neighborhood. You can tell me what you think…
I haven’t been able to find anyone who knows exactly when this mural was painted, but it’s been a fixture in Manhattan Square Park for at least 30 years, says Charles Moreland, Executive Director of Rochester Parkour . The outdoor venue has been mostly abandoned for the past 10 years, but its concrete walls and irregular geometry make it ideal for practicing the fine art of Parkour. Charles’ group can often be found moving throughout the park. Yesterday Charles noticed the mural had been covered with a fresh coat of gray paint…
A few months ago we interviewed the local artist known only as Spaceman. You’ve seen the iconic images on the streets of Rochester. Now you can own them (and contribute to two great causes). Proceeds gathered from the sale of these stickers, prints and t-shirts will go towards Spaceman’s efforts to clean up waterways in the Genesee Valley; including the Genesee River and surrounding tributaries. Spaceman also requests that a portion of the proceeds go to RocSubway for the upkeep of the site. Thanks Spaceman!
But don’t wait. Quantities are EXTREMELY limited so grab this stuff while it’s here.
Recently I asked, “Who is Spaceman?” This guy’s work has been showing up in unexpected places around town for a while now. Although I’m still not sure who the guy in the space suit is, the actual artist did come forward. And I had a chance to sit down with him at Boulder Coffee in the South Wedge. Among other things I asked him what he thought about people who call his work “trashy” or “criminal.” With the Geico Gecko watching us from the billboard across the street, he pointed to it and said, “Would you rather see a Geico ad at every four-way stop? I’m just trying to make people smile.”
For two hours we talked about his work, what motivates him, life in Rochester, keeping our waterways clean, philosophy, Tibetan monks, and other stuff. For obvious reasons he wishes to remain anonymous, so I’ll refer to him in this interview as “Spaceman Artist”. Here’s a taste of our conversation…
A few months ago this woman caught the attention of motorists on I-490 near downtown Rochester. The image immediately made me think of early works by Banksy or Shepard Fairey , artists who catapulted themselves into pop culture stardom by plastering their towns with often graphic and politically-charged poster art. I wondered, was this Rochester artist making a political/social statement? Or is this half-nude character with the peace sign pasty simply a random piece of visual titillation?
A few people on Facebook claimed to know the artist, but my attempts to track him (or her) down were fruitless. Then yesterday a friend* of mine spotted a similar image stuck to a 490/590 support column at the Can of Worms interchange…
Meet local rapper “Bricksonion”. Brick first started rapping when he was 13, but didn’t take it very seriously until he was about 23. Now he is known around town for his music , and for operating Rochester’s first mobile recording studio.
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.