The Yards Collective offers a space for community engagement and the networking of Rochester’s art scene. Our goal is to provide a platform for creative individuals to learn real world skills, or as we like to put it all the things they didn't teach you in art school! Our primary services and resources revolve around studio spaces that are available on a three month basis and residency programs that are both enriching and inspiring. We are also host to First Friday exhibitions, curated showcases, workshops, public critiques, and private rentals in the Aqua Room.
The Yards differs from other art spaces in that our central focus is to foster a supportive community for all creative ventures. Studio artists have 24 hour access and the opportunity to discuss, share, and develop their practice with other renters as well as access to the public. Members that have successful careers in the arts include Interstellar Lovecraft, Bee Paperhouse, and Color Punch Creative.
Rochester has a bustling and diverse art scene and our space is centrally located within The Rochester Public Market. Every Saturday morning we are open from 10-2, right upstairs from where you get your daily cup of coffee at Javas! Our foot traffic from the market is year-round despite the weather of an upstate New York winter, we enjoy the regular support of our community! The Yards Collective Art Space was founded in 2011 by Sarah Rutherford and Lea Rizzo, the space is now owned and operated by long time member and former intern, Kristina Kaiser.
Meet our Resident Studio Artists
Rebecca Lomuto is a conceptual artist fascinated with stretching the limits in traditional media. She likes to think that her work lies somewhere between the dark and dusty corners of her mind and the bright afternoon light on plants in her studio. Often dealing with the concept of fabricated truths, she pulls from spotty memories based in personal trauma, relying on process-heavy mediums. Experimental mark-making is a strong focus of hers, as she finds its description most telling of some of the rawest experiences she draws from. Her work takes material form in alternative process photographs, etchings, performance, drawings and installations.
Find her work online at www.rebeccalomuto.com
Jennifer Kircher Carr’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and is published in numerous literary journals, including The Rumpus, North American Review, Monkeybicycle, Prairie Schooner, Hobart, Alaska Quarterly, Jellyfish Review, and The Nebraska Review, where it also won the Fiction Prize. Her non-fiction is published in Edible Finger Lakes and Poets & Writers, among others. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of linked fiction, and teaches at Writers & Books.
Creating connections between past and present. Capturing the joy and pain of memories. By gathering found and consigned objects, Christie Nesbit creates harmony among items that don't seem to go together - a "beautiful chaos." She provides a second life for discarded bits which tell stories and history. Christie’s finished pieces evoke nostalgic feelings and wonder - because, when we are unsure of what lies before us, we can seek comfort from what has already been.
Christie has lived in Rochester since 2009 but grew up in Pennsylvania outside of Harrisburg. She has been passionate about art and art making since childhood. Christie has experience with a wide variety of mediums but her current infatuation is with collage and assemblage - the endless prompt. She is a Yards Residency alum. Christie lives in the North Winton neighborhood with her spouse, Emily; dog, Rocky Donuts; and rabbit, Cashew. Instagram: @byfiver
Marks work has a very graphic style. Whether he is shooting black & white or color, digital or film, he always looks for bold compositions and interesting subject matter. Mark specializes in street, travel, and surf photography which begs the question- how did he get involved in surf photography?
“Western NY is not exactly a hotbed for the sport (although there is a hearty group of lake surfers in the area). When I was young, a family from California moved to my neighborhood. They brought the style and culture of Southern California with them and I was immediately drawn to the sport and lifestyle.”
Mark began shooting on his first trip to Hawaii and then during subsequent trips to California, Mexico, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. When he’s not walking the beach, he is on the street capturing the seemingly mundane daily events that are so easily overlooked. Mark attempts to convey emotion through the click of a shutter and to frame the world the way he sees it. In the words of the American photographer Elliot Erwitt- “Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Veronica Wilson is a native Rochestarian who marches to the beat of her own drum.
Veronica is a decorated Navy veteran and served in Naples, Italy and Keflavic, Iceland. For eleven years she was CEO of a successful IT firm that she founded while living in Washington, DC. After selling her company she attended the Coaches Training Institute and became a certified Success and Life Coach. Combining her business knowledge, military experience and a variety of coaching tools and resources, she consults as an Expansion Specialist with a limited number of clients. Currently, she is consulting with NFL Super Bowl Champion Roland Williams for his organization the Champion Academy Extreme Mentoring and Empowering Initiative, which is the largest mentoring program for at-risk youth in the city of Rochester.
Through drumming, Veronica is raising her vibration and shifting energy.
Rachel Anna DeVona is a visual artist living in Rochester since 2014, working with paint, torn paper, cardboard and fabric; the “stuff” of her world that composes each creation. These items have found a heartbeat for art that may have otherwise been thrown away.
Schooled in the traditions of fine art at SUNY New Paltz, she returns to them time and again to give voice to artwork born of passion for colors, textures, and the latent possibilities of the objects and forms around her.
Relationships are found everywhere and Rachel brings both patient craftsmanship and explosive gestures to her work to explore them. She is both old school and new school. Rachel very much enjoys the journey of making each piece.
Find her work online at www.rachelannadevona.com
Eliza’s practice begins in the library. Her research investigates topics of feminism, history of women's roles in society, body image, and conceptual art. Personal experience, coupled with extensive ideation, determine which materials she will use for a project. She prefers non-conventional art forms, using materials as a means to an end rather than an influence.
Eliza received her BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in May of 2018.
Geoff Graser writes journalism, essays, memoir and fiction. Home base is Rochester, NY. He holds a Master’s in Journalism from Syracuse University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. His work has appeared in USA Today, Washington City Paper, Rochester’s City Newspaper and Democrat and Chronicle, Medium.com, Santa Clara Review, The Big Brick Review and r.kv.r.y. When not tending to his mildly absurd obsession with the Buffalo Bills, he's working on a book about artists and mental health. Check out his writing at geoffgraser.com.
Creating music is Art, Creating sound is Engineering. Musicians treat the tonality of their instruments as though they are an amalgamation of mystical qualities, only to be accentuated by the rarity and vintage of its components. Guitarists love Vacuum Tubes, Germanium Transistors, Paper in Oil Capacitors, Lead Solder, Bucket Brigade Integrated Circuits, and pretty much any technology invented before 1980. Baja has been known to fall for that romantic nostalgia. However he must remind himself sound is engineering, not art.
Baja is on a Cartesian journey to reconstruct my knowledge of electric guitar sound from the variable magnetic field produced by a vibrating string through every, resistor, capacitor, tube, transistor, and transformer. Baja has come to the realization that his appetite to create will outgrow his desire to keep finished projects.
The excellent artwork enclosing exciting engineering is created by his wife, Sowolu. Let's be honest with ourselves, fellow guitarists; we only ever buy something if the paint job is cool. Instagram: @bajafm
Lisa Rickman aka “Sowolu”
Sowolu is a lifelong photographer, writer and painter whose work is a combination of storytelling and portraiture expanding across a plurality of disciplines from her multifaceted background in journalism, marketing and research writing. Since 2010 she has worked with a multitude of local media, businesses, private clients and photographers on a wide range of projects.
Sowolu draws inspiration from her dual heritage and a strong research foundation to create pieces delving into symbolism, myth and psychology. Her current works are studies of ancient art and mythology using modern palettes and styles. You can usually find her in the studio she shares with her guitar-nerd husband during The Yards’ Saturday Market hours from 10am-2pm, and visit her site @Sowolu.
‘Sowolu’ is a Germanic rune symbolizing the Sun, the ultimate life force. This rune stands for wholeness and a sense of well being that is founded in the Suns’ energy, oneness and the cyclical aspect of life and the universe.
Nick is an artist whose background is in 3D and received his BFA in sculpture from SUNY Fredonia. He uses an array of materials for his pieces such as copper, wax, paper, wood and thread. Nick draws his influences from his medical background through personal, family, school and work experiences. Using his materials, he creates installations and books that encourage interaction with people to walk around or pick up the piece. You can check out Nicks work on his instagram @nick_l.art
Megan is a Rochester native, returning home to the city after spending 5 years in Lancaster, PA for college. Megan holds a M.S. In Occupational Therapy, but is currently using her knowledge of anatomy to demystify the human body through art. Somewhere between textbook illustrations and whimsical interpretations of disease/disorder, Megan's work aims to challenge the notion that images of our bones, organs, and bodies are gross or macabre.
Much of her work is influenced by personal experience with illness as well as the collection of stories from patients and clients she has encountered in her work as an OT.
As for medium, she became enamored with woodburning after picking up her dad's soldeirng iron in the fall of 2017, and scrawling a name on a piece of Driftwood. She has continued to woodburn for the majority of her work, using a variety of locally sourced surfaces to depict images ranging from anatomically correct vertebrae to customized illustrations of injuries, accidents, or diseases. Her favorite thing is when she can be a part of celebrating someone's journey or recovery through a commemorative piece of art. Instagram: @unstrungstudios
Wood Shop Manager
JT Pirog is a carpenter and wood shop renter at The Yards. His practice is mainly focused in turned wood forms and vessels. His pieces combine precise geometrical shapes and cuts with natural elements of the wood material such as cracks, bark edges or bores made by insects.
Kristina Kaiser is the creative mind behind Hohm Designs, living and creating in Rochester, NY. In 2013 Kristina earned a BFA in Studio Arts: Painting with a dual major in Art History from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Kristina is widely exhibited in the Rochester area and has participated in a group showcase at Oakland Terminal Art Gallery in 2015. She has also worked with WXXI and Rochester Cocktail Revival for event decor consulting. Current positions include Director and Business Owner of The Yards Collective Art Space LLC and member of Politits: Art Coalition.
Acting as an art administrator Kristina has developed programming to help support and encourage emerging artists to reach creative success. The most acknowledged program developed by Kristina is the Yards Collaborative Residency established in 2013. In March of 2018 the vision of collaboration continued, the residency was featured by the Memorial Art Gallery for a one night event featuring the artists from the January 2018 session.
“Being an artist is fundamentally who I am as a person, it's my passion and my calling, I think when I was born I said hand me a piece of paper and a pen.” Jennifer loves the idea that you can take piece of clay or stone, a blank piece of paper or canvas or whatever it may be and create something from nothing that has the ability to evoke in the viewer a certain feeling. Whatever the medium or media is, the thought provokes mood changers, the bringers of beauty and the harbingers of change in their period of creation. This is what Jennifer tries to achieve with her art. With her jewelry she creates bold pieces and what she calls one of kind sculptures for the body.
In her photography she creates images that point out the beauty, heartache and the randomness of everyday life. Jennifer also creates from imagination, using disparate images and collage techniques to create work that takes the viewer on a tour of her mind.
“Photography is my visual thoughts or feelings made into tangible expressions of self and of our world. My graphic design is often humorous, sometimes thought provoking or simply a celebration of life,beauty or pure creative freedom. Like I said art is my life.” Instagram: @studio4345art