Grand Opening

February 25, 2012 - February 25, 2012

After months of anticipation, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts officially opened its doors Saturday evening.

Within the first half-hour of the grand opening, about 95 visitors were already browsing the various pieces of art on the first and second floors of the building, located at Merchants Plaza.

“It’s overwhelming to see so many people here,” said Matt Wyatt, museum president. “I feel like we’ve done what we set out to start.”

The second floor of the museum is dedicated to smaller works, and the first floor is set up for large works, such as oil paintings “Self Portrait as Queen” by Amber Lavalley and “Embrace” by Susan Schwake.

Laura Warecki, 25, of Waltham, Mass., was one of the many artists who donated to the Fine Arts Museum. About 50 pieces of art have been collected from all over the world, including from Germany, France, Canada, and the United States, and more works are one the way, said Wyatt.

Warecki, who contributed a mixed media work depicting a sailboat, titled “Life is But a Dream,” said the arts museum is a great way to create a permanent collection while giving exposure to the various artists.

“The diversity of the art is just great,” she said.

The museum contains many styles of art, including photography, traditional oil and water color paintings, contemporary and abstract art, as well as mixed media and collages.

Before the grand opening on Saturday, Wyatt and another staff member were seen mounting an extraordinary 40-pound mixed metal piece titled “Vanity,” made by assemblage artist James Chase.

The museum collection is also complete with a Picasso lithograph, as well as a photograph of John Lennon, taken in 1974 by the renowned rock n’ roll photographer Bob Gruen, which the museum acquired last minute, said Wyatt.

“It’s nice to have a photograph idol in our collection,” he said.

The Lilac City’s Fine Arts Museum is run by a five-member board of directors.

Mandie Haynes, the team’s executive assistant, said it’s great to have the museum finally open after months of anticipation.

“I love having people be as excited as we are,” she said.

Before the official opening of the museum, Haynes said she was anxious about getting enough advertising for people to come to the event, as well as making sure all the artwork was mounted on the walls in time for the opening.

“We are trying to change the perception of Rochester for the better,” said Wyatt. “From something not so great to something with a little more color, more culture.”

In addition to the permanent collection of art, the museum has a rotating gallery, which will be open on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

The Museum of Fine Arts is located at Merchants Plaza, on 1 Old Dover Road.

LIZ MARKHLEVSKAYA lmark@fosters.com

Related Posts

Downtown Barriers

June 5, 2021 - October 31, 2021

Volunteers from the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts were commissioned to paint the jersey barriers surrounding temporary outdoor dining areas, on North Main Street.  With a design conceived by artist Mike Durkee, a small group of painters executed a continuous five-color gradient mountain range and skyscape across more than 20 cement barriers.  “We worked with…

Second Grand Opening

June 1, 2018 - June 30, 2018
Reception: June 1, 2018 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts will host a Grand Opening celebration for its newly acquired and renovated suite in the Rochester Community Center. The museum already maintained a large collection of art adorning the walls of the long first-floor corridor, since 2014. The new suite will complement the collection display and add additional free…

SHORTS

Film Screening
March 3, 2018 - March 3, 2018

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is proud to present the fourth edition of SHORTS, an evening comprised entirely of short films from around the world. The event takes place at the historic Rochester Opera House on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 at 8pm (doors open at 7pm). The series is designed to bring people together…

SHORTS

Film Screening
June 18, 2016 - June 18, 2016

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts recently announced program selections for the third edition of SHORTS, an evening comprised entirely of award-winning short films from around the world. The event will take place at the Rochester Opera House on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 with a cocktail hour starting at 7pm. Tickets only $8. This celebration…

SHORTS

Film Screening
January 9, 2016 - January 9, 2016

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is proud to host the second edition of SHORTS, an evening comprised entirely of independently-made short films from around the world, at the historic Rochester Opera House. The event will take place on January 9th, 2016 with a cocktail hour starting at 7pm. This celebration of movie-making excellence brings…

Film Series

Film Screening
June 14, 2014 - June 14, 2014

The Rochester MFA began exhibiting films in September 2013. Each year, the museum invites the public to the historic Rochester Opera House to screen independent movies in an informal way. The series is designed to bring people together in a relaxed environment, through the love of film. The Rochester Opera House is a magnificent theatre…