We are a community-based not-for-profit that educates, encourages and inspires all people to create and enjoy the arts. Established in 1970, The Flower City Arts Center is located in an historic firehouse, built in 1895-1905 (Try to find evidence of the fire poles next time you're here!). We are the only community visual arts center conveniently located within the City of Rochester. In 1973, the Arts Center incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational institution.
The Flower City Arts Center offers programs in three visual arts areas: Printmaking & Book Arts, Ceramics, and Photography. We produce youth programs, classes and workshops, provide facilities to our studio artists, and exhibit work in our galleries. We collaborate with community groups for the benefit of all. Our photography, ceramics and book arts programs are available to community members of all ages, income and background.
The Flower City Arts Center is an Institutional Member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.
Board of Directors
Ross Lanzafame, President
Jennifer Genter, Vice President
Mitesh Parikh, Treasurer
John Wierzbicki, Secretary
Christina Cretelle, Director
Dr. Sonia James-Wilson, Director
Frances Kabat, Director
Susan Lakin, Director
Jennie Papkin, Director
Amanda has a MFA from Visual Studies Workshop and a BA from SUNY Geneseo. She helps to keep the Center running smoothly; coordinating marketing efforts, maintaining the database, communicating with members, updating the website, sharing stories on social media, designing promotional materials, and whatever else needs to get done.
Printmaking & Book Arts Director
Mitchel Cohen has a BS degree in Printing Education from RIT and is the director and one of the founders of the Printmaking & Book Arts Center. He is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of printing and book arts.
As executive director, Janice is responsible for all financial management, organizational leadership, and fundraising and development activities for the organization. Prior to joining this organization in 2005, she was with Eastman Kodak Company for 24 years. She spent her career at Kodak in various engineering and management positions across research, manufacturing, human resources and quality leadership departments. Janice is active in the Monroe Avenue Merchants Association and the Council of Agency Executives, serving on committees for each. She also is on the board of directors and helped found Kamina Friends, a non-profit whose mission is to help start small businesses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Joanna Heatwole personally benefited from a youth arts outreach program to her low-income rural school district, and since her own college years sought to provide similar creative access for others. A permanent transplant to the Rochester area, Heatwole graduated from Visual Studies Workshop’s MFA program and worked as a managing editor of Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism while teaching in several local colleges before accepting a full-time position in the art department of Roberts Wesleyan College. She comes to us most recently from the Brockport Migrant Education Program where she served as an outreach worker, tutor, and advocate for in-school and out-of-school youth residing in the Rochester City and Brockport school districts.
Ceramics Studio Manager
Kelly Justice is a ceramic artist who produces slip-cast porcelain vessels. She received her MFA in Ceramics in 2015 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and her BA in English from the University of Arkansas. She was a 2015-2016 Ceramic Artist-in-Residence at the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education, and has participated in exhibitions in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New York, Rhode Island and Washington. To learn more about Kelly’s work, visit her website at www.kellyjustice.com.
Printmaking & Book Arts Studio Manager
Allan has a BA in European Studies from the University of Guelph and a MA in Photographic Preservation & Collections Management from Ryerson University/George Eastman Museum. He apprenticed with Michael Torosian at Lumiere Press in Toronto on two book projects, (An American Gallery and Steichen: Eduard et Voulangis) working on all aspects of fine press production and publishing. He has a studio for printing and binding.
Audrey is a native Rochesterian who came to the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education as a student looking for a creative, adult outlet during her years as a stay-at-home mom to twins. One class was all it took to realize what a special place the Center is in the Rochester community! She continued to take classes and soon became a studio artist and then a staff person in the Ceramics Studio. Audrey now divides her time at the Center between writing grants for the organization and working in the ceramics office and gallery. She holds a BA in English and MS in Education and taught in the Rochester City and Rush-Henrietta School Districts prior to joining the Center.
Printmaking & Book Arts Studio Assistant
Roy Sowers earned a BS in History at Portland State University, a Certificate in Photography from the New England School of Photography, and an MFA in Imaging Arts from RIT. He lives in an historic city home short on furniture, lined with thousands of books and LP's. His collection shows a particular emphasis in WW1, Russian history, all genres of art, philosophy, paper making, politics, classics and jazz.
Sharon took her first class in photography in 1977 at Community Darkroom. She became Director in 1978 and has remained through 38 years of growth. Sharon helped develop and has taught in youth outreach programs since 1994. In 2014, she became Director of Outreach Programs to focus on and develop programming in this area. Sharon grew up in the Albany, NY area and graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a BA in English (writing is her other passion).
Photography Facilities Manager
Mark Watts has a BFA (Photography), and an MST (Instructional Technology) from Rochester Institute of Technology and has designed and created media in numerous platforms and formats: Web Publishing, Interactive Media, Print, Photography and Video.
Kate has a BFA in ceramic sculpture and an MFA in Art Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She and her husband Jim moved up from Tennessee when he began teaching creative writing at SUNY Brockport, and Kate begin as a studio artist at the pottery. She became the ceramics program director in 2006. She and her husband have two daughters and live in Brighton.