Last November former OHNY intern Ted attended a wedding in the Western NY city of Rochester.  The event was held at a unique location called ARTISANworks, a combination event space/artist colony/museum/art gallery.  Armed with a bottle of wine for the brides, and a camera for OHNY, Ted set out to bring us this week’s Field Trip Friday.

ARTISANworks hosts everything from weddings to parties to corporate events, all amid a collection of nearly 500,000 pieces of art.  The location also houses a dozen local artists-in-residence whose work can be seen throughout the complex.  Many famous artists are represented in the exhibitions, including famed local painter Ramón Santiago, Ansel Adams, and Pablo Picasso.

The Picasso piece is actually a lady’s blouse.  As the tour guide explained, a young woman was invited to a dinner party with Picasso and was very excited to meet him.  Immediately before being introduced, however, she spilled sauce on her shirt.  Embarrassed, she nervously apologized to Picasso, who took the shirt from her, painted it to hide the stain, and returned it to her shortly thereafter.  The blouse is now on display in the Marilyn Monroe room, which also showcases original prints of… you guessed it, Norma Jean.

ARTISANworks is a sprawling complex packed to the gills with different media and exhibitions.  One room houses a vintage dentist’s office, complete with chair and drills.  Around the corner is a more interpretive piece called “The Incredible Case of the Stack’O’Wheat Murders“, comprised of a toilet, some pancakes, and a bikini-clad mannequin.

Somehow, between the paintings, sculptures, fire engines, movie theater, photographs, bunk beds, and mermaids, ARTISANworks manages to offer a number of different spaces for reserved events.  The banquet halls are gorgeous, covered from floor to ceiling in art, and provide an incredible atmosphere that is at once sophisticated and friendly.

565 Blossom Road
Rochester, New York

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