Art is Forever, Exhibits are Not: Shawnee Hill + Adam Francey Openings.

{ Artist Shawnee Hill’s work for Broken Ritual at Bug Jar – taken from Shawnee Hill Facebook. }




{ It’s a bit of a paradox. Art is destroyed, taken down, stolen, vandalized, whatever. But art is forever. No one can take away the experience of art–from the artist who creates or the patron who enjoys. No one can dismantle this creative process or remove our experiences. No one. }

intimate + accessible is the best way to describe art in Rochester. … and poppin’.

One of the most exhilarating parts? Capturing this experience during its lifetime. Rochester, NY is phenomenal for this. Thanks, in part, to galleries like 1975 { right behind Hart’s, 2Vine, and The Little Theatre }, which has FREE admission, where our Roc community can intimately + freely enjoy the works of local + national artists. And 1975 Gallery is just 1 spot.

The best part?? We don’t just have artists. We have artists who share their souls.

Interacting with the artists! Be it Wall\Therapy, were you can watch internationally, critically acclaimed street artists + graff writers produce art on the walls and souls of our streets, or openings at a myriad of coffee shops + businesses.

art in Rochester is alive + interactive

Artist + Muralist Shawnee Hill painting outside of Bug Jar.

Artist + Muralist Shawnee Hill painting outside of Bug Jar.

What’s up this weekend?

A lot.

Friday: Shawnee Hill opening at Bug Jar. #BrokenRitual

Saturday: Adam Francey solo opening at 1975. #BlessThisMess

What you need to know:

  • Friday – Shawnee Hill – Bug Jar  – Broken Ritual
  • Saturday – Adam Francey – 1975 – Bless This Mess
    • 7-10pm, Sat, February 7: Opening Reception
    • February 7 – 28, 2015: Exhibit
    • 1975, 89 Charlotte Street 14607
    • curated by Erich Lehman
    • Adam Francey: New Works in Folk Art + Solo Show + First Art Print Releases
    • HTB Press: prints
    • Adam Francey Tattoos: Francey is a renowned tattooer – see more of his work!

Need some more? Social Media fix:

Mural by Shawnee Hill taken from Shawnee R M Hill Facebook.

Mural by Shawnee Hill taken from Shawnee R M Hill Facebook.

  • Shawnee Hill


  • Adam Francey


I am stoked to surround myself this weekend with incredible art that has come from the finger tips of incredibly soulful + talented people who live in my community. I cannot wait to share these experience with the friends I love. I feel honored to be present + in the same spaces as these creators.

See you there!





Music Local. Liana Gabel and Rest + Heal.

{All Photos taken from Liana’s Website. All energy + soul. See for yourself.}




“I like the challenge of making my feet more percussive.”

tap dancing

Liana tap dancing + using her feet as an instrument.

From: Rochester, NY {Ogden}.

High School: Churchville-Chili.

Grew Up On: Italian songs + arias sung by her Nono Tony.

Muses: Dreams, The Natural World, People.

Pop Corn: Fav snack – home popped pop corn with coconut oil, salt, pepper, + nutritional yeast.

Eco Friendly: 1.5 years living in a cabin without running water, without electric/gas heat, with a composting toilet, and baths in a local stream when warm enough.

Tap Dancing: Classically trained singer who plays guitar and uses her feet as a percussive instrument.

Home: New Paltz.


Liana knows how to move energy because Liana is all the good energy.


4.5.2014 : Bug Jar. I 1st met + watched Liana perform the same night I saw this powerhouse. Liana entranced me. While she sometimes plays with her band who are also members of their own band Los Doggies (heard on her Rest + Heal), when I saw Liana at The Bug Jar on Monroe Ave, she played alone. Center stage. Guitar holding. Feet shuffling. Notes rising + falling. Energy moving.

“I love to move energy when I have the power to with music and performance.”

And move energy she does. She moved me. I meandered to the front. Rooted my feet. I let Liana’s words + timber + tone + notes wash over me. Then I let them move me. The juxtaposition of her obviously well trained voice to the simple, raw, + real humanity of her lyrics to the complexities of her sounds. I had to know more.

playing and grass

I would watch Liana give a concert in the tall + wild grass.

Liana Gabel + her “Rest & Heal” Album is 1st to spotlight a #MusicLocal series. 

What a true honor to write this interview about Liana Gabel and her music. Her experiences, meaningful + talent, so deep: this is why we #MusicLocal. To know + experience artists like Liana and music like “Rest & Heal.”  Truly, I’m tempted to just copy/paste the email Liana sent to answer my interview questions. Her words and story, that rich. But then again, you can just catch a performance + meet her yourself, yes??


Between North Chili and Spencerport, Liana grew up in the town of Ogden {I call everything Rochester, so}, and she graduated from Churchville-Chili high school. After a semester at Monroe Community College, Liana graduated with a degree in Jazz Studies as a vocalist from SUNY New Paltz. Liana explains she became classically trained “more out of necessity than anything.” While “not ever a big fan of” classical training, Debussy and Puccini are Liana’s favorites within the genre. {Girl got class.}

liana + scarf

Classically trained + grew up on Nono Tony’s opera.

Roots. Nono Tony. Before World War II hit, Liana’s grandfather, who immigrated to Rochester in 1965 from Bologna Italy, studied to be an opera singer. Cook, tailor: when the war hit, Nono’s school closed down and he took other odd jobs to support his family. “Although he was never able to make it a career, my grandfather was always singing,” Liana writes. “Neither of my parents were musicians, but my nono sang opera, and would sing me Italian songs and arias as a little girl. Those are some of my first music memories.”

“but my nono sang opera, and would sing me Italian songs and arias as a little girl.”

While her parents worked, Liana sang for Nono Tony and Nona Pasqua. Nono’s favorite? O Sole Mio. “That is the song he first taught me. My Nono Tony was my first true musical inspiration and the only musician in my family.”

“the guys would always play guitars. I thought if they could do it, I could too, so I started taking lessons at Stutsmen’s.”

Musician. Until Liana, that is. Aside from her classical training + writing songs with her “entire range in mind,” Liana also plays guitar and percussion with her feet. “I consider my feet an instrument,” Liana writes me, “although I am still learning to use them as one,”. Inspired to learn guitar by her sister’s boyfriend’s band, Five Mile Line, Liana spent hours alone in her room listening to CDs and–Bob Marley’s Redemption Song–Liana learned songs from her favorite writers. Another reason I dig Liana?? “I also couldn’t stand watching or hearing the television (still can’t),” she explains, “so it was the best way I could tune it out in my family’s home.” {I relate girl. No TV in my apartment.}

guitar palying II

Strumming the heart strings.

“I just write lyrics. I have been writing lyrics for as long as I have had crushes on boys I think.”

Writer. By now, you know that Liana is a storyteller. “Once I got started on guitar, I began writing,” she recalls. As previously admitted, this entire post should  be cut + pasted directly from the email Liana sent, her words and images and experiences, that compelling. And natural. And real. As are Liana’s lyrics in Rest & Heal. Here’s an excerpt from the interview I sent Liana where I totally fangirl hard + break form with the interview questions:

UNIQUE WRITING STYLE – YES. I AM OBSESSED WITH YOUR WRITING STYLE. “Big Sur” is currently my favorite and, from the first syllable, you showcase your story telling/narrative capabilities. And you construct it with the impact of flash fiction. Beginning a song with, “Nearly,” that word alone, frames everything. Compelling. I love it.

Then there’s “Better” where you use the most common everyday interaction that everyone probably purposefully forgets—and so of course you choose this, because we can all relate to it and yet we all neglect it and so you draw attention to it for a) a cause and b) to get our attention—and you turn an entire lifetime into 1 mini-vignette; 1 persons’ “otherness” into needs we all have. I mean. That is genius storytelling. And you do it lyrically. Incredible.

rest and heal

Rest & Heal Album Art. Print by Artist Carla Bartow.

(Print: Artist Carlow Bartow)

Soulful Tune. “Big Sur” + “Better” are just 2 of 10 songs I absolutely love + respect. Liana writes: “‘Big Sur’ is a big favorite on the album. I have heard this from many folks.” Yes. Because “Big Sur” makes listeners feel like we’re at Big Sur, even if only vaguely familiar with its locale {Nor Cal}. The subdued melodies and subtleties softly lull listeners into the throws of our own emotions. I want to listen to “Big Sur” like I want to breathe the air of a “nearly full moon,”. I want to ask all of the questions “Big Sur” poses, with my last dying breathe. I love this song. You do, too.


  1. New Paltz. Anyone down for road trip? A) Liana lives + mostly plays there. B) I love New Paltz. Swear if I’d known more about it, I would have gone to college there. (Sorry Pittsburgh.)
  2. Gabel Fest. August 16, Churchville, NY. “[O]nly the best Rochester music fest ;).” {Direct quote from Liana.}
  3. Lilac Fest. Let’s get Liana in for the line-up next year!!
  4. Jazz Fest. Not yet … but Liana will make it happen. Her music will make it happen.

“I usually describe my music to people as ‘jazzy folky pop rock,’.”

Healing + Restful. I’ve listened to Rest & Heal almost every single day coming back and forth from work. I cannot thank Liana enough. Stories. Lyrics. Notes. Voice. Rhythms. Lessons. Love. Throughout this incredibly trying month in an already very messy year, Rest & Heal has helped me do exactly that. This will be the best $10 you ever spend. Trust me. Trust Liana. This woman, 26, knows life.

“I am ready to go wherever music takes me. I know it will take me to many wild and beautiful places with incredible people.”

Here’s to some “jazzy folky pop rock,” + some of the best Local Music we will see + hear. Here’s to “Rest & Heal,” which, I promise you, we all could use.

guitar playing

Wild + beautiful places. Wild + beautiful Liana.

Thank you Liana!!







Sustainability + Activism: Why Shop Local?

(Above: Danielle Ponder of Danielle Ponder and The Tomorrow People live at The Bug Jar, 4/5.)





Magix is why we Shop Local. Magix, a unique clothing boutique that sold an affordable and eclectic array of designer, boutique, and vintage items, was located on South Avenue, directly across from Thread, in the heart of the South Wedge shopping district. I discovered Magix during my 2nd Southwedgeucation. Southwedgeucation–you know–City Newspaper’s  late summer evening that buzzes with shoppers, strollers, businesses, food trucks, bars, music shops, boutiques, and more to celebrate the South Wedge . A September evening that bustles with the volume and energy every single other weekday night, certainly weekend, should generate. I found Magix. I found glass beads straight from Ghana. I found vintage and thrifted items. And shamefully, even I–the Shop Local Campaigner–even I seldom returned. Magix, which closed this past July, might have closed for any number of reasons. But it’s safe to surmise it was due to a lack of awareness. A lack of Shop Local know-how. Every single person I revealed the magic to about Magix? None had been before. Not necessarily because we don’t know. Because it’s not familiar.


Don’t let habit dictate your Shop Local. Habit. What is habit? Most habits are bad, no? Habit is the unthinking actions we ascribe tendencies and routines because we either have to (brushing teeth), we don’t think about it (tapping fingers), or we need to cope (smoking).

Why let shopping–why let life–be just another habit.

Make shopping and living a conscious action. Think about it. Shop Local is still convenient. It’s just that Shop Local is also conscious. Shop Local is affordable. Shop Local is unique. Shop Local is activism.


The Shop Local Campaign in Rochester, NY is sustainability. Shop Local is sustainable for entrepreneurs. Shop Local is sustainable for community development. Shop Local is sustainable for cultural identity. Shop Local is sustainable for individual budgets. Shop Local is sustainable because it preservers local talent and nurtures sustained growth. (See Go Buy Rochester’s explanation of the Multiplier Effect.)

Why not turn your consumerism into activism?

Shop Local in Rochester, NY for your every single day needs, every single day. This is why we Shop Local. So that good things–quality businesses with character, that enhance our cultural identity and work with our daily budgets–so that good things stay alive. So that they thrive. So that we thrive.

And don’t just #shoplocal…




Danielle Ponder and The Tomorrow People Saturday, April 5 at Bug Jar. Incredible Local Music venue. Watch for review on Liana Gabel’s “Rest and Heal” album. Saw her too. Loved it!


(watch me to watch some seriously good music)


Know a good spot? Have a cool routine? Please share!