Grand Opening Celebration for ArtSpace36
Finger Lakes Community College will host a grand opening reception for ArtSpace36, its new downtown art gallery, on Sept. 5, showcasing work by the college’s first art faculty. The exhibit “Honoring Our Roots: Wayne Williams and T.F. Insalaco” features painting and drawings by Thomas Insalaco of Canandaigua and sculpture by Wayne Williams of Newark. The pair taught during the college’s early years, when it was known as Community College of the Finger Lakes, or CCFL, and classes were held in downtown Canandaigua storefronts. In fact, ArtSpace36, at 36 S. Main St., is next door to the former site of art classes at 34 S. Main St. “The gallery is part of a college-wide effort to deepen our engagement with the community, and it is meaningful that our search for a location would lead us back to our roots in downtown Canandaigua,” said Lacey McKinney, assistant professor and director of the gallery. The exhibit opens on Thursday, Aug. 22 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 12. The opening reception is Thursday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the gallery. Both Williams and Insalaco will talk about their work. “Wayne and Tom were instrumental in establishing not just the art program, but the overall identity of the college in its formative years. We encourage anyone who took classes with Wayne and Tom and those who have enjoyed their art to join us for this event,” McKinney added. Williams and Insalaco are both emeritus professors, an honor granted to retirees following distinguished careers. The department at FLCC was founded by Williams and two years later, a second position was added. Insalaco was hired and together they worked on curriculum expansion. Upon their retirement in 2003, the gallery on the main campus was named the Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 in their honor, with the “34” serving as a reference to South Main Street address of their first classroom. Insalaco earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from SUNY Buffalo and master’s in fine arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. His paintings and drawings combine symbolism and influences of great artists through history. His work was recently featured in an exhibit called “Legacy” at the Oxford Gallery in Rochester, which included not only Insalaco’s art but those of eight other local artists whose careers he influenced. Williams earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts in sculpture from Syracuse University and went on to study and create art in Europe for two and a half years. Williams created the life-size bronze sculpture at the Vietnam Memorial Garden at Highland Park in Rochester. His Seneca Family Sculpture at the northeast corner of Main Street and Eastern Boulevard was dedicated in 2013 to mark the 100th anniversary of the city of Canandaigua. Regular hours for ArtSpace36 are 2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and the gallery opens for special events which are listed on the college website at flcc.edu/artspace36. The gallery features a makerspace where students and local artists can sell their work. Details are online or available at firstname.lastname@example.org.