BATAVIA — GO TO ART! is busy with openings and signings of exhibitions from Thursday evening.
And encompass a variety of distinct directions as the gallery makes up for lost time resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The arts organization is hosting two artist receptions and the inauguration of the William Mathews Gallery on Thursday.
“(The William Mathews Gallery) actually plays in the Batavia Club,” executive director Gregory A. Hallock said.
Hallock heard stories that at one point the former Batavia Club – now home to GO ART! — had a pin-up on display in the men’s restroom. So the arts organization turned its gender-neutral bathroom into an art gallery for adults 18 and older.
“There are artistic nudes in the bathroom,” Hallock said. “Because that’s where they were when it was a men’s club.”
There are 12 pieces in the gallery. The majority are by Jim Burns, a local resident.
As for the two artist galleries, Rita Mallison creates paintings of nuns while Adrian Morris paints famous people.
“Adrian, I believe, is originally from Ireland, but he’s here now,” Hallock said. “(Rita) came to us through the Richmond Memorial Library.”
Mallison’s show was scheduled to take place in 2020. Hallock said GO ART! is creating a lot of shows, because they had booked 2020 and 2021, and they were closed in 2020.
So they have a year and a half of shows they’re trying to catch up with.
not Nurses & Nuns, Saints & Angels: The Art of Rita Mallison will be in the Seymour Dining Room while Adrian Morris will be in the Batavia Club Gallery at Tavern 2.o.1. B
Both galleries will be open to the public until March 26. All three will have the reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and the grand opening of the William Mathews Gallery will take place at 6:15 p.m.
not The groundbreaking and grand opening of the Bob Knipe Memorial, Explore ART! Studio III – which is a podcast studio – is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday with a ribbon cutting at 1:15 p.m.
Knipe was president of GO ART! board of directors and has been involved with numerous organizations that have received funding from GO ART! The podcast studio was decided to be dedicated to his memory because he was on WBTA and did a show for the senior center, as well as podcasts with his stepson.
The podcast studio was part of GO ART! over the past two years, but was finally finished last week.
GO ART! made renovations and updates to the building throughout the pandemic. Hallock said that includes a dance studio, which also serves as a film studio. They also set up a music studio.
“Our big thing is wanting the community to know it exists, and right now we got a grant that will pay us the fees we would charge anyone to use the space,” he said. “That includes the podcast studio, the music studio, the dance studio — all of it.”
It is therefore free until December 31 for anyone in the public who wishes to use the space.