We are a community-based not-for-profit that educates, encourages, and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual 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
Jennie Papkin, President
(Vacant), Vice President
Jennifer Genter, Treasurer
Dorothy Roach, Secretary
Marc Smith, Director
Jacob Zoghlin, Director
Denise Ambrose is an independent artist and crafter with a Master’s Degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science in English Degree from SUNY Brockport. Her career began as an elementary teacher and evolved into service as the Community Education Resource Specialist in the Rush-Henrietta School District. Most recently she was the Regional Director of Adult Education for the Finger Lakes, reporting to the NYS Education Dept and providing professional development. She enjoys papercrafts, watercolor, drawing, and event planning. Her hobbies include bicycling and flipping/refurbishing old dollhouses and transforming them into modern design.
Communications Assistant Manager
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 media are chalk & oil pastels, charcoal, inks, and watercolor.
Building and Historical Assets Manager
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
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.
A lifelong Rochestarian, Carole earned her BS in Accounting from St. John Fisher College and earned her CPA license soon after. She’s enjoyed working in various Rochester for-profit and nonprofit organizations, but finds her greatest satisfaction serving the needs of local nonprofit organizations. In her spare time, Carole and her husband enjoy travel, hiking, and geocaching.
Cheryl McKeiver’s professional experience encompasses decades of leadership roles in finance, operations management, in academia and for-profit and non-profit organizations throughout New York State. Before coming to FCAC, she retired as a vice-president and director of training and development at Citibank/Citicorp. In that position she led a global education department that managed Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and Portland, Maine. Additionally, McKeiver has held numerous positions within Citibank at their corporate offices in New York City and Richmond, VA. Cheryl has influenced the education community of Rochester at Monroe Community College, the State University of Brockport at REOC, and Consumer Credit. She has been a long time financial strategist, offering live, on-air financial guidance on WDKX – 103.9FM.
Teaching Artist & Education Coordinator
Kylie teaches various photography, and digital art, based classes, workshops and programs 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 Manager
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.
Ceramics Office Coordinator
Bri Shores is from Kansas where she attended Fort Hays State University, receiving her BFA with emphasis in Ceramics in 2018. She then moved to Missoula and earned her post-baccalaureate from the University of Montana. The following year she interned at the Archie Bray Foundation. She currently lives in Rochester, NY and has started her residency at Flower City Arts Center. Website: brishoresceramics.com
Printmaking & Book Arts Director
Originally from Clayton, NY in the Thousand Islands region, Megan moved to Rochester in 2010, after graduating from SUNY Fredonia with a BA in Visual Arts & New Media, in order to attend the MFA graduate program at Visual Studies Workshop. While at VSW she developed a studio practice in book arts and experimental video and earned an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration. Megan has taught classes and workshops to all ages throughout the upstate NY region.
Photography & Digital Arts Manager
Liz Webster received a BFA in Visual Arts with a concentration in Photography from the State University of New York at Oswego. Originally from Syracuse she moved to Rochester to teach in the Studio 678 program. She took over administration of the program in 2018. Liz continues to work on personal photographic projects, focusing on silver gelatin printing, cyanotypes, and instant photography.
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.