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
Margi Ochs, President
Jennie Papkin, Vice President
Jennifer Genter, Treasurer
Sarah Murphy, Director
Barry Strauber, Director
James DeLuca, Director
Lydia Palmer, Director
Jen Perena, Director
For the last 4 years, Kaaren has dedicated herself to “bringing more joy and laughter into your home and life” as an illustrator, designer, and the owner of Solveig Studio (solveigstudio.com). Originally from Madison, WI, she has a BS in Art Education from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.Div from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University. She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and has served parishes for 22 years in the Northeast. She currently lives on a horse farm with her husband, daughter, 10 horses, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a field of peepers.
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 mediums 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.
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 Coordinator
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.
Printmaking & Book Arts Director
Community Darkroom Coordinator, Photography & Digital Arts
Allan has a BA in European Studies from the University of Guelph and a MA in Photographic Preservation & Collections Management from Ryerson University/George Eastman Museum. He apprenticed with Michael Torosian at Lumiere Press in Toronto on two book projects, (An American Gallery and Steichen: Eduard et Voulangis) working on all aspects of fine press production and publishing. He has a studio for printing and binding.
Audrey is a native Rochesterian who came to the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education as a student looking for a creative, adult outlet during her years as a stay-at-home mom to twins. One class was all it took to realize what a special place the Center is in the Rochester community! She continued to take classes and soon became a studio artist and then a staff person in the Ceramics Studio. Audrey now divides her time at the Center between writing grants for the organization and working in the ceramics office and gallery. She holds a BA in English and MS in Education and taught in the Rochester City and Rush-Henrietta School Districts prior to joining the Center.
Youth Program Coordinator, Photography & Digital Arts
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.