Flower City Arts Center is a community-based not-for-profit organization that educates, encourages, and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts, design, and media. We embrace the fact that the arts elevate humanity, are naturally therapeutic, and provide tools for expression in the language of the heart in a world that needs healing. Flower City Arts Center strives to create social change through arts, education, and creative entrepreneurship. We provide high-quality arts programs to the most in-need people in our community.
The Flower City Arts Center celebrated 50 years in 2020. Established in 1970, The Flower City Arts Center is housed in a historic firehouse constructed in 1895-1905. We are the only community visual arts center conveniently located within the City of Rochester. In 1974, the Arts Center was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational institution. In addition to our staff and board, we have up to 20 artists-in-residence and many instructors, studio artists, volunteers, and interns.
We offer foundational arts in Printmaking & Book Arts (PABA) using vintage presses, letter sets, and traditional ink printing methods; bookbinding, papermaking, marbling, and calligraphy; Fine Arts like painting, drawing, mixed media art, and encaustics; Ceramics, using hand building, wheels, and kilns, and Photography offering a darkroom, professional lighting studio, cyanotype “silver den”, and more. This blends with modern tools, such as Digital Media through computer design, photography, videography, editing, digital and audio production, animation, music production, and risograph printing.
Flower City Arts Center serves young children up to the oldest community members throughout Rochester and the wider region. We have youth programs, such as Studio 678 Photo & Writing Club for city middle school (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) students, the oldest youth arts program in the Rochester area celebrating 25 years, and Expanding The Field (ETF), career and college arts for urban high school students (grades 9-12). These programs serve low-income young people of color who often fall through the cracks or are at risk from trauma and other life and family challenges.
Additionally, Flower City Arts Center runs specialized classes and inclusive programs for a wide array of people with varying physical and mental abilities. In recognition of our LGBTQIA+ community members and their allies, we are part of the Safe Space Alliance. We host diverse Artists-in-Residence all year and offer creative healing and therapeutic arts, studio space rental, three galleries with rotating public exhibits, workshops, lectures, classes, entrepreneurial projects, and memberships for the Greater Rochester Area. There are even international shows, such as our widely attended four-day Flower City Pottery Invitational, which invites potters and curators from around the country and the world.
At the Flower City Art Center, we value and cultivate an environment composed of a variety of backgrounds, skills, and views. We believe that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provide a platform for ongoing innovation in art education and acknowledge the importance of diverse representation in visual arts. We are a community that encourages all people to be respected, valued, included, and free to be one’s authentic selves. We are committed to Art for All People.
Dorothy Roach, President
Jen Perena, Vice President
Jennifer Genter, Treasurer
Kathryn DeLaVergne, Director
James DeLuca, Director
Flower City Arts Center's programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
We are an Institutional Member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.
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.
Joe Mangano is a Rochester, NY native with extensive experience in the arts, education, and nonprofit arenas. Throughout his 17 years working as a teaching artist and music producer in Rochester, he has taught a wide array of subjects including music production, vocal performance, musical theater, spoken word and slam poetry, digital media, and core academic subjects infused with original and fully arts-integrated curriculum across grade levels ranging from early pre-k up through college. His art and his pedagogy are centered around the concepts of social justice, political activism, personal transformation, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, social consciousness, positive social change, and healing. While working as a teacher, Joe attended SUNY Empire State College where he earned a BA in Psychology.
In addition to the arts, Joe has a passion for the natural world and enjoys hobbies such as mountaineering, wilderness survival, meteorology, and storm chasing.
Marketing & Communications Director
Originally from Connecticut, Mev McMahon fell in love with the Rochester area while earning her BFA in Photojournalism at RIT. Her passion for photography developed in tandem with her appreciation for history. Growing up, she traveled with her archaeologist parents to numerous historical sites with a camera in hand. During college, she researched, acquired, and sequenced thousands of images while working as a Picture Editor for major publications such as TV Guide Magazine and NBCNews.com. Not one for NYC living, she moved back to her adopted home to give back in the best way she knows how: using visual storytelling to showcase the work of local nonprofit organizations.
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 Director
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.
Kristin Rapp has woven together a colorful array of arts, education, healing and leadership experiences. She attended RIT for graphic design, SUNY Geneseo for Special Ed and Psychology (BA) and Syracuse University, where she became a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). Rapp is an accomplished social entrepreneur, therapist, published author, and artist with a Certificate in Strategic Nonprofit Leadership.
She founded and ran a nonprofit organization that educated and employed through arts, technology, and creative entrepreneurship and a private therapy and wellness practice for individuals and couples. Kris actively engages in mixed media arts, photography, dance, yoga, meditation, and singing. She has a passion for creating impact and meaningful social change using principles of restorative practices, transformational justice, and emergent strategy. Kris has lived in the City of Rochester since college and loves the arts, culture, and natural wonders of this area. She has two adult kids, both graduates of School of the Arts, who live, work and create here too.
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
Megan is a multimedia artist working in video, photography, book arts and printmaking. She received a BA in Visual Arts & New Media from SUNY Fredonia in 2010 and MFA from Visual Studies Workshop in 2013. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and she has taught classes and workshops to students of all ages throughout New York State.
Printmaking & Book Arts Teaching Artist & Studio Assistant
Hope Taylor is a multidisciplinary teaching artist currently based in Rochester, NY. They earned an MFA at the Visual Studies Workshop in 2012. With over 15 years of teaching experience in visual arts for all ages, their work often incorporates a variety of processes including; drawing, printmaking, sewing, photography, painting, video, sculpture, collage, natural dyes and papermaking.
Building & Facilities Manager
Dan Varenka is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Rochester, NY. Combining his DIY upbringing and commercial screen-printing practice, his work usually takes the form of books and zines. He received a BS in Art Education from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2003 and MFA from Visual Studies Workshop in 2012. He prints and publishes as Zaftig Press.
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.