A kicking First Friday at Anderson Arts Building

A kicking First Friday at Anderson Arts Building

Peter Scahill blends skills with the spirit of the circus and stage with contemporary humor [Photo: Karina Banda] April Fool’s Day, 2016

Before being rudely ejected by Flash in the Pan for absconding with his juggling clubs, it was reunion night at the Anderson Arts Building. With a mime for good measure.

First stop was the Rochester Military Society of Rochester. You’ve seen Chuck Baylis put me in a WWI uniform and a cannonHe has also christened the U.S.S. Langley. And Chuck displayed a fascinating exhibit of Trench Art including a box made by a German P.O.W at Cobb’s Hill.

pittsford cannon

Pittsford Cannon near the Canal Path [Photo: Chuck Baylis]


Chuck Baylis

One of Chuck’s new projects is a Vietnam War Memorial exhibit including the original plaque with Tim O’Brien’s lines from the The Things They Carried and the original pedestal honoring Don Holleder from the Veteran’s Memorial Walk in Highland Park

Tease: our next project involves a famous sword, a turn-of-the-twentieth century uniform and another cannon.


Photo: one of Anna’s misguided Lunatics, April Fool’s Day, 2016

Next I dropped by Anna Overmoyers of Luna Gallery who you know from “The Futility of Knowing Oneself.”

Anna forced me to pose with figurines she is now making, including attaching one to my head. She’s a Lunatic!header_final

By chance, that very day Anna had made a “call for art” for her coming “Midsummer’s nights dream” happening at the Gallery.” If you don’t want a metal donkey stuck on your head, best to answer that call.


Karina and Judy with Judy’s latest creations.

Tease: Luna will be soon sharing a project done from the other side of the Earth.

Next was Judy Gohringer who gave us a warm antidote for the winter doldrums.

There by chance was Karina Banda, aka the Saint of WordPress. A senior at the University of Rochester, Karina was the original designer and installer of Talker of the Town! And what magnificent work she has done.

As the Saint of WordPress, amongst other calamities, Karina nursed me through the Great Terror when I temporarily lost three weeks of pictures and almost my mind.

Tease: before she graduates, Karina will be featured in a Talker exclusive.


“Lynn, I don’t (gulp) know (err) what you’re talking about?” [Photo: Lynne Feldman] 2/5/16

From there it was Lynne Feldman’s place which was a chapter in our calamitous scavenger hunt for Rochester Reads. As always on display were Lynne’s sumptuous collage homages. 


See link for details on “Wrap Yourself in Art” 4/1/16

Tonight Lynne appeared draped only in her art (not really). Lynne’s latest project is Wrap Yourself in Art: blankets soft, warm and distinctly beautiful.

Moving upward, next was Gallery 4 – 8. Gallery 4 – 8 is a new gallery created by Richard Margolis to show the work of Rochester’s emerging artists and now displaying the photography of Krit Upra.

Only having communicated electronically, I had not before met Krit. And a pleasure to hear him in person describe the subtle choices of color that went into each image.


Note the critical use of celery sticks to advance our aesthetic explications [Photo: Hillary Bosy, RIT student]

I also learned more about what motivated Krit towards photography as a profession. When in boarding school in the U.S. (Krit is from Thailand) Krit played soccer on the varsity team until tearing his ligament. Still wanting to be around the team, he took photographs of games and practices. The principal liked Krit’s soccer images so much he suggested he be the school photographer. Then doing actual photography for the first time, Krit found his life passion.


Photo: Karina Banda, April Fool’s Day, 2016

Tease: Krit is right now combing through his facebook pages to locate his very first photo  —  then to be added here.


Photo: Karina Banda, April Fool’s Day, 2016

The next encounter was not so jolly. A strutting, April Fool’s jester flashon his high horse was stalking outside Gallery 4 -8. Fearing for Karina’s safety, I rushed the overgrown villain  — that flash in the pan — and seized his juggling cubs! Alas, the final result was not completely in my favor.

My ego and bruises were soothed  when along came Andrea Whitcomb, the mime who had been performing throughout the evening. Andrea was unable to say no to a kiss. And neither was I.

One artist was missing in my sentimental journey, Robert Marx.  In January, I had met Robert at his Black Bird Press studio. Although nationally renowned, Robert is entirely unpretentious and open.

We talked about the piece on which he was working. I explained I would like to display it in the magazine if he liked. Robert would, but it was still unfinished after many years of on and off again work.


Robert Marx’s unfinished painting, January 2016

We then discussed how Robert knows when a work is finished. An instinct seems to come over him.  One day he wakes up — feeling perhaps sublime or perhaps mundane — and he knows.  It’s done!

So I came back in a couple of months. Robert sighed, not done. Tonight I thought was perhaps the night. But, alas, Lynne informed that just a day or so ago Robert had decided to set up his studio in his home. So he wasn’t there.

Tease: we intend one to day find Robert in his home studio and report back with the story. It’s done!

Robert Marx, January 2016


“Futility of Knowing One’s Self” by Anna Overmoyer from the Anderson Arts Building

Antidote for the Doldrums. Join us for another visual conversation with artist Judy Stewart Gohringer from the Anderson Arts Building

War (literally) made into art at the Military History Society of Rochester

Krit Upra, one of Rochester’s emerging artists given a stage at Gallery 4 – 8 in the Anderson Arts Building

A collage homage to the Public Market with Lynne Feldman


Jill Gussow’s homage to the raucous crows of the South Wedge

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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