Tag Archives: Artist in Residence

Meet the Artist in Residence: Cathryn Leyland

Cathryn Leyland is an artist in residence at Main Street Arts! She’s working in one of our two studio spaces during the months of September–October 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see her studio and work in progress). We asked Cathryn a few questions about her artwork, life, and more:

Artist in Residence Cathryn Leyland in her Main Street Arts studio

Artist in Residence Cathryn Leyland in her Main Street Arts studio

Q: Tell us about your background.

A: I grew up in the house of an artist and a paper engineer, so materials were always accessible and projects abundant.

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After starting another career path, I headed back into art through an interest in scientific textbook authoring and illustration. Upon finishing an MFA, I found myself teaching computer graphics amid courses in professional and technical communications.

Photos (c)CRLeylandI owe my teaching pathway to  printmaker Eric Bellmann, who was art chair for the evening division at RIT. He entrusted me with teaching so early in my working years. And Tom Moran, my chair during the evolving years of computer graphics.

Teaching led me into writing and illustrating online course materials, and developing new courses. It took me  a while to realize that curriculum design was essentially book publishing, with a smaller audience and immediate feedback. I suppose one could conclude, “You can always do science for a hobby.”

This fall my courses are online, which frees me to settle into Clifton Springs for this great opportunity at Main Street Arts. It will be refreshing to produce art there, meet people,  and see what emerges from workshops.

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CRLeyland Abstract

Q: How would you describe your work?

A: Everyone sets their balance between order and chaos, dealing with what arrives. Life brings disarray, and we scramble to pack it into order. Often the interruption is order; we just haven’t recognized patterns yet. My artwork respects chaos, and the order that can be formed from it.

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I pursue ideas that I’d like to teach others, or find adventures in trying new tools.

I can’t resist sandboxing fabric ideas at Spoonflower.com, and have hidden vices where print-on-demand services wrap my images on new products.

(c) CRLeyland on Spoonflower

For  short time, I designed surface pattern for fashion and fabric through an agent. Seamless pattern design could be an interesting topic for a gallery workshop.

I’ve sold ceramic sculpture to people carrying it through a crowded festival; painted public art while onlookers shouted from their cars; designed promotional materials, to find that different opinions make us such snowflakes.

In artistic expression we tell our individual stories, and should expect others’ to be different. Then we are delighted when  ideas connect, when visual communicators seem to understand how we were thinking.

Q: What is the most useful tool in your studio?

A: Scissors beat paper and rock. Vital tools are bitmap software, MS Notepad, small graphics tablet, phone camera– to jot down ideas or carry out a full vision.

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Acrylic paint on board conveys what’s on my mind most effectively.

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Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?

A: Projects often start with curiosity about materials, combining things in unexpected ways. I see what I already have to work with, and build on that. My pewter phase began with videos of survivalists melting cans and pouring molten metal on garage floors. Who can resist.

In approaching a project, I pick up peripheral information. Learn everything, then narrow to how I’d like to carry it out. Art-making is about choices, and is not necessarily an additive process. Try removing as fast as you add.

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Q: What are your goals for this residency?

A: Work will emerge in both pewter jewelry, and acrylic abstracts.

In preparation, I cast pewter into organic and geologic forms, and will combine these with semi-precious stones, amber, freshwater pearls, a little sterling and other metals. Shapes were melted ahead of time, to keep the gallery off speed dial to Clifton Springs FD.

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(c)2016 CRLeylandI have small paintings to finish, which will gradually appear outside my second floor studio.

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During the residency, you will see the progression of a painted series, on Finger Lakes waterways. The depth of Seneca Lake, winding of Flint Creek, elevations, watersheds, and glacial structures… I would like to highlight fluidity, sprawl, and vulnerability in upstate waters.

And oh! I look forward to offering workshops, seeing what each person brings in experience and insight.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: Two upcoming juried exhibits here, I’d like to submit work to– Small Works 2016 and The Cup, The Mug.

I expect to carry the pewter idea further, into art jewelry exhibits. Pewter is malleable and melts at low temperatures, so it’s wonderful to work with, and opens up many possibilities. I had the opportunity to wax-cast silver when I was young, and am building that experience into the way I cast pewter.

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I continue to teach, freelance, write, take on other work… and am always eager to explore new opportunities.

Q: Where else can we find you?

A: Saatchi ArtFine Art AmericaLinkedIn, and Spoonflower — A great place for trying new ideas for seamless repeats–and connecting with thoughtful, creative people.

(c) 2014-16 CRLeyland fabric

Q: Do you collect artwork?

A: I have stoneware and abstracts that harmonize with life. Art might arrive through connection with an artist, friend or relative, or a discovery I can’t pass up.

(c) CRLeyland


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.

Meet the Artist in Residence: James Mikhel Emerson

James Mikhel Emerson is an artist in residence at Main Street Arts! He’s working in one of our two studio spaces during the month of August 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see his studio and work in progress). We asked James a few questions about his artwork, life, and more:

Artist in residence James Mikhel Emerson

Artist in residence James Mikhel Emerson in his studio at Main Street Arts

Q: Where are you from?

A: I’m from a real small town called Candler, in the heartland. It’s actually an unincorporated borough, just like one that I passed real close to Clifton Springs.

"The Totem Can Project" by James Mikhel Emerson

“The Totem Can Project” by James Mikhel Emerson

Q: How long have you been making artwork?

A: I’ve been making art my whole life. Both of my parents were artist craftsmen, so I started very early in clay and paint. Later, I moved to New York City and studied traditional drawing, painting, and advanced mixed media at the Art Students League in Manhattan.

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Q: How would you describe your work? What is your preferred medium and your typical subject matter?

A: Primitive Surrealism is a term I like. I work with concepts and styles that extend across generations; things that humans can relate to regardless of time and place.

Somebody else just asked me what my preferred medium is, and I’ve been thinking about it. It’s sculpture when coupled with drawing and painting. I usually draw to absorb and explore different styles, and then sort of port that over into sculptures through a lot of different means.

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Q: Do you collect artwork?

A: I do, very occasionally. I have a couple of very cool prints, a coke bottle, some small stone objects, and a wooden piece of a new alphabet created by a great artist, Esteban Patiño. I also have a small collection of artwork that I found around NYC over the years, which was created by #FAF and #FreeArtsMovement artists. Some of it’s good stuff.

Q: Where are your favorite places to see artwork?

A: Good question. My favorite places are anywhere art doesn’t normally occur, so outside of galleries, museums, etc. I have participated in the #FAF as I mentioned before, and have left a bunch of small sculptures in public places for people to find and to hold, so I get a kick when I find other artists doing that as well.

A recent public sculpture by James in Riverside Park South in Manhattan

A recent public sculpture by James in Riverside Park South in Manhattan

Q: What are your goals for this residency? Tell us about your current projects.

A: Right now I am working on a new series of paintings and sculptures which use old visual language to present contemporary life. I’m using a bunch of styles to create contemporary symbols and representational imagery with which to talk about the world we live in.

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Q: What advice would you give to other artists?

A: Seek the deeper function of art. Ask “What does art do for us humans, why do we keep creating it?” It is a question that is as old as us and is absolutely relevant today. See how far you can go to find your answer.

Q: What’s next for you? 

A: I think I’m gonna drive over to New York to the Wassaic Project. There are some folks over there that I’m hoping to see.

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Q: Where else can we find you?

A: You can see more of my artwork at www.jamesmikhel.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @JamesMikhel.


Sign up for a Social Media for Artists Workshop with James Mikhel Emerson! In this workshop, James will discuss different social media platforms and strategies for creating platform-specific content. Increase your reach and get your work in front of collectors, galleries, and more! Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 12-3pm. $25 per person. Call, email, or stop in to sign up today.

Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.

Meet the Artist in Residence: Evan Tagmeyer

Evan Tagmeyer is an artist in residence at Main Street Arts! He’s working in one of our two studio spaces during the month of July 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see his studio and work in progress). We asked Evan a few questions about his artwork, life, and more:

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Q: To start this off, would you tell us about your background?

A: I am a professional artist living and working in the suburbs of Philadelphia (more specifically Lansdale township). For the past six years I have been an art student. I first attended Bucks County Community College where I received my Associates Degree in Fine Arts. I then transferred into University of the Arts where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting.

Q: What was your experience like at art school?

A: To say that my three years at University of the Arts was the time of my life would be an understatement. I met and made wonderful relationships with individuals whom I know will continue their creative endeavors and will hopefully stay in touch. I never painted before University of the Arts and my sophomore year I became very aware that this medium was something that I found fascinating.

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Q: How would you describe your work?

A: To put it simply I paint in the dark. I use dark interiors that slow down the viewers understanding as well as my own of space and form. As of late, I have been painting still life and interior space paintings of my home and studio.  Along with interior space paintings I have been creating still life paintings of objects that define me personally.

Evan Tagmeyer, "Still Life at Night", oil on canvas, 22" x 16", 2015

Evan Tagmeyer, “Still Life at Night”, oil on canvas, 22″ x 16″, 2015

Evan Tagmeyer, "Bedroom with Dresser", oil on canvas, 12" x 9", 2015

Evan Tagmeyer, “Bedroom with Dresser”, oil on canvas, 12″ x 9″, 2015

Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?

A: Recently, I have been interested in painting medical devices that are thrown about with other objects or placed in a certain way to alter or hinder their usage. My still life paintings I set up by placing the objects in a makeshift box that I than cover with a screen to give the illusion of darkness. My interior space paintings I start by taking multiple photos of the space, I then begin to alter how they are viewed before I begin to paint through my computer. I push the lights and darks in the photos and than I recreate the image through paint.

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Q: What are your goals for the residency?

A: Because I am a young, emerging artist my goals for this residency are to first and foremost to create more work in a professional environment, while also building professional relationships and connections to help further my career.

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Q: What’s next for you?

A: After my residency is complete I will be returning back home to Pennsylvania to see family and friends. After my return I plan to keep creating artwork and look for gallery representation near me.

Q: Where else can we find you?

A: You can visit my website at www.evantagmeyer.com.


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.

Meet the Artist in Residence: Maria Victoria Savka

Maria Victoria Savka is one of our first artists in residence at Main Street Arts! She’s working in one of our two studio spaces during the month of June 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see Victoria’s studio and work in progress). We asked Victoria a few questions about her artwork, life, and more:

Maria Victoria Savka

Q: To start this off, would you tell us about your background?

A: I come from Rochester, NY and started doodling since I was much younger and shorter! I graduated with a Fine Arts and Illustration BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology this past May where I began to intensely focus on building a portfolio as well as pushing the limits of my own work. As a recent graduate I am exploring my options and currently browsing employment possibilities.

Q: How would you describe your work?

A: My personal work tends to be what I like calling organized chaos. Movement is key in my work as it provides me with rough, raw, and vivid imagery. I consider gestural images as some of the most genuine; they capture a moment. As an artist I deconstruct images into abstractions, hopping between subjective and objective. I’ve currently been interested the deconstruction of portraits and locations. I hope to it gives a character or narrative to my subjects.

Maria Victoria Savka, "Blueberry Jeepy", watercolor on paper, 8" x 5", 2015

Maria Victoria Savka, “Blueberry Jeepy”, watercolor on paper, 8″ x 5″, 2015

I also have an avid curiosity when it comes to printmaking. I have been in touch with this medium for the past two years and am still very much interested in exploring it further because of the ability to create and experiment with various layers.

Maria Victoria Savka, "Lydia IV", photo intaglio mono print with chine collie, 23" x 15", 2015

Maria Victoria Savka, “Lydia IV”, photo intaglio mono print with chine collie, 23″ x 15″, 2015

Currently I also have multiple small projects of all sorts that tend to be more illustrative nature I am also very excited to work on during this residency!

Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?

A: My personal work starts with a 2-3 minute gestural drawing, a massive amount of loose scribbles. I find seeing the process of a piece intriguing, by seeing the process you are being told the story behind the piece. From that image I build up and create an atmosphere.

A selection of drawings and paintings by Victoria.

A selection of drawings and paintings by Victoria.

Q: What are your goals for this residency? Tell us about your current projects.

A: I would like to continue to explore printmaking. I’d like to continue playing with collage and drypoint, but would also like to dive into more linoleum cuts and perhaps woodcuts as well. Overall, I am very excited to be able to sit down and paint for hours. That is my plan.

Victoria inks a plate for a new print.

Victoria begins inking a plate for a new print.

Adding additional colors to the plate.

Adding additional colors to the plate.

Running the plate through the Main Street Arts printing press.

Running the plate through the Main Street Arts printing press.

The final print!

The final print!

Currently I also have multiple small projects of all sorts that tend to be more whimsical illustrative nature.

Drawings, collages, prints, and more pinned to Victoria's studio wall.

Drawings, collages, prints, and more pinned to Victoria’s studio wall.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I am planning on going to graduate school in a few years, as I’m interested in teaching as much as I’m interested in making my own artwork. I hope to continue showing my artwork in galleries, and see where the wind takes me!

Q: Where can we find you?

A: You can view my work at www.mariavictoriasavka.com and Instagram @marviccarsav. You can also find my work in the next issues of Rochester’s Lake Affect Magazine and Art House Press Magazine’s second issue coming out in August!


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.

Meet the Artist in Residence: Marisa Bruno

Marisa Bruno is our first artist in residence at Main Street Arts! She’ll be working in one of our two studio spaces from May through June 2016 (you can stop by the gallery to see Marisa’s studio and work in progress). We asked Marisa a few questions about her artwork, life, and more:

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Q: To start this off, would you tell us about your background? 

A: I live in Rochester, NY and began making artwork seriously towards the end of high school. I attended SUNY Fredonia, studied art intensely there for four years and graduated with my BFA in Drawing and Painting in 2015. Now that I am back home, I work at part time at Donna Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery. Surprisingly, working at a bakery provides many creative outlets like cake decorating and allows me to meet new and interesting people every day. I paint personal and commissioned work for galleries and individual patrons.

Q: How would you describe your work? 

A: Currently I work in oil paint on surfaces like Masonite or wood paneling. I focus primarily on the human form; expressions, body language, the way light interacts with the face, the way gestures can relate moods and ideas all catch my attention. I use expressive brushwork and intense colors in my work.

Q: What is your process for creating a work of art?

A: It always begins with sketching. So much sketching in combination with journalling and  taking more photos than I could ever use. Then I sort through the images and words to form the painting. My mental image of what the painting will look like often changes drastically during this step. Once I’ve selected a photo reference to work from (or two or three), I prepare a wood panel with gesso or liquin, sketch the image (with much revision) and then begin painting. I like to walk away from my works in progress and come back later for another painting session. It helps me to see areas needing improvement.

Q: What are your goals for this residency? Tell us about your current projects.

A: I’d say I have three main goals: Paint as much as possible, meet as many people as possible and learn new skills from my environment and the people around me!

I am currently working on a series called Wrapping Paper, focusing on the acceptance and beauty of physical imperfections despite the pressures of society. The first painting in this series can be viewed on my website here .

In addition, I am planning an exhibition for the second floor of Main Street Arts. This show is in its early stages but updates will be coming soon! I’m also putting together a Figure Drawing workshop to take place in June. Look for more updates in the next week!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I am planning on continuing to show work in galleries, work at the bakery and hopefully enroll in grad school in the coming year. I am also working for the Arts at the Gardens fine art show. You can find out more about it here.

Q: Where can we find you?

A: My work can be viewed on my website, Facebook and Instagram! I also had the great honor of being included in the first edition of Art House Press Magazine.


Are you an artist looking for new opportunities? Apply for a residency at Main Street Arts! Artists in residence will have 24-hour access to a large studio on our second floor (with great natural light), the option to show work in the gallery, and the opportunity to teach paid workshops. Submissions are reviewed and awarded on an ongoing basis.