Restore Rochester’s Airport Art

Restore Rochester’s Airport Art

You’ve seen the help Richard Margolis has given to Rochester’s emerging artists. When Richard shared a well-researched and persuasive petition to save Rochester’s Airport Art, we were happy to sign and circulate. The work being saved may be Richard’s, but the petition speaks to all Rochesterians who enjoy our public art: whether ready for take off or firmly grounded.

SIGN PETITION HERE Petitioning County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo ( site)

Richard Margolis Rochester, NY

WE RECOMMEND that the County Executive demonstrate support for the arts in the community by restoring the Airport Projects selected by the Monroe County Public Art Committee in two competitions, in 1990 and 1991. The artists had been invited to design works that present a “sense of place,” a reference to western New York’s local history, industry, culture, and natural resources, that would be paid for with 1% of construction funds. Half of those projects are now gone.


The first competition selected Bill Stewart’s “The Council” and Wendell Castle’s “Lunar Eclipse” and were paid for with funds approved by the Monroe County Legislature, although by just one vote.

The 2nd round competition contracts for Peter McGrain’s “Stained Glass Window”, Richard Margolis “Rochester Landmarks Photographs”, Ruth Manning’s “Dixie Wig Tapestry”, Susan Rowley’s “Airborne Stabile”, and Nancy Jurs’ ceramic “Triad” were rejected because the County Conservative Party refused to endorse any legislator, Republican or Democrat, who approved the contracts. There was a huge outcry and local arts patrons began raising the funds privately. After about two years they had raised the required $186.000, so the projects were funded and installed.

A plaque listing the Airport Art Contributors was installed and, although half of the projects have been removed, the plaque is still exhibited. The result is that our airport has hidden away many of the outstanding projects and replaced them with advertising murals and 3rd rate exhibits. Our airport, the gateway to the community, presents visitors with boring and forgettable corporate displays.


At minimum, Monroe County should demonstrate appreciation of the arts and creativity, and improve the impression presented to visitors, by restoring the airport public art projects already paid for by the community.

There should be a City/County Public Art commission to plan, coordinate and encourage art in public places.

1% of all future construction funds should be dedicated to the commission and installation of public art in Rochester and Monroe County




Another bad call at the Rochester Airport. Triad replaced by “Business Center.”

Rochester, like Buffalo, should be proud of its Airport Art


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

Love and Hope in the Rochester Subway


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

A kicking First Friday at Anderson Arts Building

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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