We are a community-based not-for-profit that educates, encourages, and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts.
• Visual arts education programs and services
• Operating for over 50 years
• Provide arts instruction, studio space, workshops, gallery, and exhibition space reaching more than 4,000 people each year
• Offer over 300 classes each year
• Provide free programming to city youth each year
• Other special programs for high school students, seniors, LGBTQIA+, and youth camps
Our education programs serve over 1,600 students ages 6 to 75+ each year in the areas of photography (traditional black and white, digital and vintage processes, and graphic arts), pottery (including jewelry making, handbuilt, wheel thrown, & altered forms with a variety of surface applications), and book arts (drawing & painting, letterpress, hand papermaking, printmaking, bookbinding, and calligraphy).
Come be inspired by our building at 713 Monroe Avenue - a rehabilitated firehouse with over 14,000 square feet of arts space. Our recent building improvements include a new photo lighting studio, printmaking studio, digital arts studio, and installation of an elevator to provide full accessibility throughout our facilities, an accessible washroom, and a fully accessible darkroom. Our instructors, Artists-in-Residence, and staff will inspire you to be your most creative self!
Our ceramics studio is Rochester's largest, serving an active community of students, professional studio artists, and Artists-in-Residence. Our ceramics facility includes 4 classrooms, a kiln room, glaze room, clay room, individual renter spaces, and gallery space encompassing more than 4000 sq ft. Rental, studio access, and firing services are available.
Our Firehouse Gallery serves as the only space in Rochester dedicated to showcasing ceramic art and artists from across the country.
In photography, our Community Darkroom was established in 1977 so that people of all ages could take modestly priced professional photography classes, have access to facilities to create their own images, and meet each other to share their work in a supportive setting.
Our classes and workshops span all types of photographic processes - traditional, digital, and vintage. We are one of the only locations nearby that offers a Risograph printer for community use; Risograph printing is a wonderful up-and-coming digital printing process which we also offer classes on.
We also bring photography programs to urban schools and to organizations serving urban youth. Our most extensive program is Studio 678, a 24 week after-school photography program for middle school students at Rochester City Schools - working with students in grades 6-8.
We also offer a program called Expanding the Field for high school students who identify as a person of color, and who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in visual arts. These students receive free classes, mentorship, field trips, and opportunities to exhibit their artwork throughout the year.
Our darkrooms and lighting studio facilities are available for rental. Our gallery features the work of both established and emerging artists.
Our community of printers and printmakers, papermakers, calligraphers and bookbinders, drawers and painters come to the center to teach, learn, and create work. Our comprehensive series of classes includes letterpress printing, bookbinding, book arts, paper making, and calligraphy. Our extensive array of equipment includes several platen and proof presses, etching presses, finishing equipment, hundreds of drawers of wood and metal type, and the area's only professional papermaking studio.
We focus on: Education, Arts and Culture
Where we are: Monroe
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