10 Rochester Artists You Have to Start Following

>> In no particular order, here are ten fantastic local artists. Each one of these hard working,and skilled individuals have decided to create beautiful pieces. Some were born out of dark places, and some born out of hope and joy for the present and the future. And maybe better yet, each one of them is local to this beloved city we call home: Rochester. These are just a handful of the people we'd like to honor, and hope that you all will see, too, that they're worth honoring.

  1. Molly Elizabeth (The Darling Revolution). She's an abstract artist, using bright colors and smooth black lines to create a flow, rooted in and inspired by an emotional revolution, or in her words, using "art for greater emotional literacy" Art has been a part of her practice for most of her life, though she has been curating shows, managed an art gallery, having her own artwork in shows, and exploring social media entrepreneurship for the past 6+ years. Her journey to self love and "coming back into her body" has flourished through her art and overflowed into a podcast newly titled "The Darling Revolution." Learn more via her Instagram @thedarlingrevolution. Visit her during open studio hours at The Yards in the public market on Saturdays as well!

  1. Nadine Longmore graduated from RIT in 2016 with an MFA in Studio Fine Arts Her array of work consist of illustrative watercolors, and abstract acrylics/mixed media paintings. In her Etsy shop, you can find gorgeous watercolor based floral pieces, animal portraits, and hand lettering quotes as well as some acrylic painted ornaments perfect for the holiday season. Visit her etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/nklfineart Follow her on Instagram @nklfineart.

  1. Christy Roushey. A maker at heart,she focuses on botanical illustrations and modern calligraphy/lettering. She has many of her designs on retail items such as mugs, tires, pins, etc available in her Etsy shop along with her newly released "Lots of Love Affirmation Deck" - 32 cards meant to encourage and uplift. You can see her work in the flesh on at the Tree Town Cafe in December 2019/ January 2020. Follow her on Instagram @the.house.of.roushey and visit her website at www.houseofroushey.com.

  1. Maxwell Harvey-Sampson. Maxwell is a portrait and self portrait photographer. On his website, you can see a few bodies of work, including progress on his current project of self portrait collage. In "culling together" and collating 7 years of self portraits, he strives to create a "visual language as to how mental illness effects your physical appearance." One of his bodies of work titled "Fuel for Fire" focuses on individuals of the queer community in Rochester, attempting to "pay homage" to those who have played a role in helping him release his trauma around his sexuality. His work will be featured as part of a group exhibition at Gallery Q next summer. "I make work because it heals me." See more of his works on his website www.maxwellharveysampson.net and on his Instagram @maxwellharveysampson.

  1. Shyanne Haynes. Shyanne, better known as Autumn Affair, is a burlesque performer, model, and show curator focusing on racial diversity. Working with photographers that bring dignity and beauty to her form and aesthetic, she has been modeling for 7 years, doing boudoir/lingerie, cosplay, and other playfully themed photo shoots. After delving into research motivated by watching the film "Burlesque," Shyanne fell in love with the performance art and has been performing for the last 3 years. She joined local troupe Sirens and Stilettos once she formerly moved to Rochester, and has loved the support and encouragement from her peers. Though, she began noticing that she would be one of the only performers of color and soon decided to seek out other performers of color and curate shows specifically for them. Keep on abreast her events and see photos on her Instagram @autumnaffair713.

  1. Jay Lincoln. This RIT professor is also a painter and mural artist. If you've been to "Star Alley" in the south wedge, you'll see a mural of sunflowers and faces - Jay is the artist responsible for it. He has functioned as a freelance artist and illustrator, skilled with pencils as well as paint brushes. Evidence of his work is scattered throughout the city in the form of large, boldly colored caricatures as well as in the form of small, tarot cards. In 2015, Jay took a break from instructing on campus to completed a 108 count tarot card deck with each card being a local face, "mostly Lux people." It took a total of 14-15 months in all. See more of his work's details and order prints on his website www.jaylincoln.com.

  1. Greg Best. Resulting from an effort to work through grief and recovery from Religious Trauma Syndrome, Greg Best released the EP 'Homecoming' in 2018. A talented singer and drummer, he has also become something of an advocate for ending the stigma around mental health as well as for suicide prevention. Homecoming is just one of an ongoing, 3 volume project - in which volume 2, "Damage" is set to be released in 2020. All proceeds for purchases and streams go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Follow along with the journey on Instagram @gregbestmusic.

  1. The Nerdy Octopus. Alison Flaherty and Mike Pretty are the talented friends behind The Nerdy Octopus who decided to "put their love of everything geeky, snarky, and sarcastic to good use." It's a shop compiled of bashfully irreverent handmade cards, gifts, and home decor. Flaherty is the one who does the cross stitching while Pretty works on the paper pieces. See more from them on their website and on Instagram @thenerdyoctopus.

  1. Megan Z. Megan is the person behind Unstrung Studios and is a self taught artist who utilizes illustration to cope with her health conditions: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Postural-Orthostatic-Tachycardia Syndrome. Her work consists mostly of intricate, anatomically correct body parts burned onto cuts of wood - an anatomical pyrographer. She began wood burning in fall 2017 to pass time between grad school, and her full time employment, however, her chronic conditions would push Unstrung Studios to be her full time, self employed endeavor. See more from her via www.unstrungstudios.com and on Instagram @unstrungstudios.

  1. Barsha. Barsha is a wonderful portrait painter in the city. Despite growing up in a conservative environment, she gets to use her gift of drawing as an outlet to feel able to express her queer sexual identity, as well as her appreciation for the human body. "Art is an escape for me. My Instagram page is my second life to who I am… brown, first generation immigrant...art is the only world where I can express myself without fear of judgement." See more from her on Instagram @barshalicious_.