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Arts Features

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There has been big resurgence in comic books in the past year, probably fueled in part by movies about superheroes that appear in the stories.

Adam Kubert, a renowned comic artist best known for his work at Marvel, is a graduate of RIT. 

His drawings have brought to life X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Superman, and more.

Adam is returning to RIT this week to talk about his career in comics. He will be speaking at RIT's University Gallery this Thursday, November 16, at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

An artist well known not only in Rochester, but around the world, has a new exhibit which opens Sunday at the Memorial Art Gallery. 

The show is called “Wendell Castle Remastered”, and it features around 40 works of art  from Wendell Castle, a master furniture maker and sculptor who is now in the 6th decade of his career. The show is in a renovated space at the MAG.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The lawn surrounding the Rochester Museum and Science Center building looked more like a small festival than a museum. Eclipse watchers had blankets, chairs, snacks, and plenty of protective eyewear, waiting for the big moment to arrive.

The museum was completely out of glasses early in the day, but the generosity of others let Amanda Kenny and her children watch the eclipse safely.

"They gave it to us because we were in line just before they ran out, so somebody shared it with us and said they were going to share amongst their family, so we’re really grateful."

Twenty-six year old Thomas Gaynor has won first prize in the St. Albans International Organ Festival Competition. Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Gaynor is a doctoral student of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music, and is the Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church in Pittsford.

Held every two years in the historic suburb of London, the two-week long, multi-round competition ended on Saturday night. Three finalists each gave a solo recital, and then played a concerto with the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra at St. John’s Smith Square in London.

Local Eastman student advances in St, Albans  Organ Competition

The quarter-final rounds of the St. Albans International Organ Festival Competition have just finished, and one of the Eastman students has advanced to the semi-final round.

Thomas Gaynor from Wellington, New Zealand is a doctoral student of David Higgs. Gaynor and the other seven semi-finalists will perform Tuesday at Christ Church Spitalfields in London, and at St Peter's Church in St Albans on Wednesday.

If Gaynor is one of the three organists selected to advance to the final round, he will perform again solo recitals at St. Albans Cathedral on Friday, and a concerto concert at St John's Smith Square in London on Saturday.

The First Prize Gold Medal Winner will receive a cash prize of £6,000 sterling, a concert tour of Europe, and concert management in the United States. The two-week festival wraps up this weekend. The next St. Albans International Organ Festival will take place in July 2019.

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Artist Laural Hartman recently invited WXXI into her studio. As we know with art, there’s generally a deeper meaning behind a painting, drawing or sculpture. With Hartman’s work, we’re awakened to a life experience with several layers - some of which resonate with many of us and others we’ve never encountered until now.

Hartman, also a faculty member at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf joins Tabitha Jacques, Director of the Joseph F. and Helen C. Dyer Arts Center at RIT to explain what mainstream museums may not understand about the specialty of deaf art.

Our "Top of the Class" special series continues with Eman Muthana from World of Inquiry High School. Eman the Rochester second runner up for the Princeton Prize in Race Relations.

See her on Need to Know on WXXI-TV, Thursday, May 18 at 8 p.m.

For Keturah Ariel, making art that inspires, uplifts and advocates for her community is a priority. When the artist had a hard time finding paintings and drawings of girls that reflected her - young women of color - she began creating the images herself. The result: a business for her passion that empowers young girls.

On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll learn about Ariel’s story from PBS affiliate WOSU. We’ll also talk with Rochester artist Johnnie Lee Smith who says African American and Hispanic youth not only need to see images of themselves reflected in art, but also need to see artists who look like them. 

For years Rochester resident Deborah Haber wanted to find a way to tell her parent’s story. Eventually she did, on a theatrical stage. It’s a story of one of the darkest times in world history. It’s a story of the implications of displacement for those facing persecution during the Holocaust. It’s a story of the power of a fighting spirit. And as the co-creator and producer of the musical Moses Man explains, it’s also a story that connects to our nation’s current political climate, from anti-semitic hatred to the refugee crisis. So what was once a personal story is now one that Haber wants to personalize for everyone and she’s doing it through a week-long multi arts event. Deborah Haber joins this edition of Need to Know to share more about Finding Home: Shine the Light (in Rochester March 23 - April 1).

St. Michael's Woodshop

From ancient Egypt to modern times, the skill and art of woodworking continues to hold a place in society. As Need to Know host Hélène Biandudi Hofer recently learned, if anything it’s a craft with benefits that might far outweigh what you would expect. At least that’s the case for one Rochester woodworking program which has been teaching teens not only how to build furniture, but also character, personal value, and respect.

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