We are a community-based not-for-profit that educates, encourages, and inspires all people to create and enjoy the arts. The Flower City Arts Center is celebrating 50 years in 2020. Established in 1970, The Flower City Arts Center is located in a historic firehouse, constructed 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 educational programs in a variety of visual arts with an emphasis on three areas: Printmaking & Book Arts, Ceramics, and Photography & Digital Arts. 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, incomes and backgrounds.
The Flower City Arts Center is an Institutional Member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.
Board of Directors
Margi Ochs, President
Jennie Papkin, Vice President
John Wierzbicki, Secretary
Jennifer Genter, Treasurer
Sarah Murphy, Director Barry Strauber, Director
James DeLuca, Director
Lydia Palmer, Director
Dr. Andrea Talentino, Director
Simona Benenati has a BS in Music Business with a minor in IT from Nazareth College. She has studied professionally in classical voice, vocal jazz, guitar, and rock music. She has performed at Hochstein with the Rochester Philharmonic and in England for the 2012 Pre-Olympic ceremonies in London and Canterbury. She is originally from the Syracuse, New York area and runs an Upstate NY blog featuring food and music reviews: fortissimona.blogspot.com. She is a mixed media artist as a hobby, and her favorite mediums are chalk & oil pastels, charcoal, inks, and watercolor.
Mitchel Cohen has a BS degree in Printing Education from RIT and is the operations manager and one of the founders of the Printmaking & Book Arts Center. He is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of printing and book arts.
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.
Ross is an avid photography hobbyist who enjoys taking landscape, still-life, and candid photos that tell a story of people and the places they live. He holds a Masters in Hospital and Health Services Administration from Cornell University, and a JD from SUNY at Buffalo, and is a seasoned non-profit Board volunteer and leader. After representing health care facilities and professionals across New York State, as well as many non-profit associations and agencies, Ross is delighted to lead the Center through its 50th anniversary and into its next half-century.
Ceramics Studio Tech
Kyle Lascelle is a potter who works primarily in stoneware and fires in soda. He received his MFA in ceramics from RIT and received a BA in Philosophy from Arcadia University. Kyle serves as a studio technician in our ceramics department at Flower City Arts Center. His passion for clay is making and relating to historic pottery and how it relates to ideas of utility, intimacy, people, and the contemporary art world.
Studio 789 Coordinator & Teaching Artist
Kylie coordinates and teaches in our Studio 789 Monroe Photo Club, as well as teaches various photography, and digital art, based classes and workshops at the Center. Kylie earned her BFA with a concentration in Photography from the State University of New York College at Brockport. A Rochester native, Kylie was taught black and white film photography locally, by Bruce Elling, in high school. She has produced, and locally exhibited, her work ever since, gaining experience in digital art along the way.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Richard (Rashaad) Parker is from Rochester, NY and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport in Communications and Afro-African American Studies where he has presented research on African American Male Cultural Identity at the University of Maryland and the University of Buffalo Colleges. Currently, he is finishing up a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and Public Administration at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY., where his artwork focuses on Afro-futuristic mixed media assemblages, incorporating metals and found objects, 16mm film, videography, sound, sculpture, photo collage, textiles, and film as a substrate. He has also worked with school-aged children at the Charles Settlement House as a Youth Development Specialist and has served as an advocate for education, peace, and social justice as a Commissioner for the Greater Rochester Martin Luther King Jr. Commission since 2011.
Printmaking & Book Arts Studio Manager
Community Darkroom Coordinator, Photography & Digital Arts
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.
Youth Program Coordinator, Photography & Digital Arts
Liz Raymonda has a BFA in Visual Arts with a concentration in Photography. She is currently seeking a MS in Creative Arts Therapy. Liz has been teaching visual arts and photography for four years, and currently manages the Studio 678 Photo Club at FCAC. Liz is also a practicing visual artist who works in multiple disciplines including painting, printmaking and photography.
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.
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.