Exploring ArtWalk – An Outdoor Art Experience

If you have read my articles for a while, you know that I am a visual arts lover. One of the highlights of my Rochester trip was a walk through the Neighbourhood of the Arts.

My local experts Patti and Carrie met me in the morning and we started off with a lovely breakfast at a restaurant called Jine’s, located in a bustling neighbourhood on Park Avenue. The friendly feel of this city became evident when several passers-by stopped by to chat with Patti and I was vaguely reminded of my home town in Europe, where everybody knows everybody and people still say hello. I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on the patio as the local residents read the paper, savoured their coffees, walked their dogs or started to go about their errands. Sometimes smaller cities have a more tranquil ambience to them.

After strenghtening ourselves with a nice breakfast we set off to explore Rochester’s Neighbourhood of the Arts. Set in the middle of this neighbourhood is the Memorial Art Gallery on University Avenue. With its comprehensive collections spanning 50 centuries, the museum hosts travelling exhibitions and operates a popular gift shop and restaurant. Every September it hosts the Clotheslines Arts Festival. ArtWalk is Rochester outdoor art museum and features sidewalk imprints, artistic benches, tiled light poles, sculptures and other artistic endeavours.

The Neighbourhood of the Arts has won several awards and I thought it was just an awesome idea to turn a regular nice-looking neighbourhood into a stunning, creative destination full of outdoor art installations. The idea with the decorative benches in particular introduces the element of street life, inviting residents and visitors alike to sit down and enjoy the visual pleasures offered by this outdoor art experience.

Here are the fruits of my photo safari through the ArtWalk neighbourhood:

We started our excursion on July 28 at the Eastman House. George Eastman, the founder of the Kodak corporation, was Rochester’s biggest philanthropist who donated a vast portion of his wealth to educational, medical and art institutions.

The beginning of “ArtWalk”. This is my favourite outdoor piece of art. As you can see, all outdoor art is surrounded by beautiful flowers and manicured lawns.

Craft Company No. 6: This is a former fire hall that has been converted into a retail shop for artistic gifts, glassware and ceramics.

This horse and the policeman are located in front of the gift store.

Here is another humorous take on the artistic bench idea.

This colourful bench is tucked away inside a children’s playground.

This attractive block houses an antique store called Flatiron Antiques, a restaurant called Edibles, as well as a cafe by the name of Starry Nites. It is built on a triangular lot and the building narrows at its western end, similar to the Flatiron Buildings in Toronto and New York City.

A nice patio in front of the Starry Nites Cafe, a comfortable hangout in the ArtWalk Neighbourhood.
This beauty was sitting in front of the cafe and I just had to snap a picture of him.

A local tile shop advertising its wares with the help of beautiful mosaics and a creatively crafted bench.

An almost Dali-esque wooden horse in front of the art gallery.

The Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, housed in a beautiful neo-gothic building that used to be part of the University of Rochester.

After exploring this lovely neighbourhood, we continued our exploration of Rochester and the next item on our itinerary was an exploration of the well-preserved architecture downtown.

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