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Bringing New Life to Rochester with Art
Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NH Artist James Chase with one of his murals.

Eye sores such as boarded windows and alley separators will become works of art as newly commissioned murals breathe new life into Rochester's historic district. The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts commissioned NH artist James Chase to create and install public art in Factory Court, North Main Street, and Wyandotte Walkway.

The project, which was supported by the city's Office of Economic and Community Development, is expected to be completed and installed by Oct. 22.

James Chase is the director of Community Education and Visual Arts Faculty at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester and has exhibited internationally, merging painting, printmaking and photography with social engagement practices. He has been featured in more than 50 art exhibitions since 2009.  Recent solo exhibitions include Echoes with the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts and Kill The Lights at South Plains College in Levelland, TX.

“I am honored to have been commissioned by the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts for a public art project. It says a lot when local organizations and municipalities invest in the arts. This project will hopefully further the appreciation for public art and help beautify the downtown.” Chase says.  “The opportunity to interact and give back to the community through the power of art is important to me. I truly believe art builds community.”

Chase recently completed a large scale mural project in Manchester, similar to the ones he has planned for downtown Rochester.

“My aim with the mural project in Rochester is to enhance a visual sense of vibrancy that is already growing in the downtown area. With businesses and organizations like the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, Rochester Opera House, Revolution, and Fresh Vibes all making substantial investments in the downtown area, these murals will hopefully become another piece of the conversation.”

Economic Development Manager, Karen Pollard says, “As we learned from the Arts & Prosperity survey, compiled by the national organization, Americans for the Arts, measures the economic impact of art and cultural contributions within the community. It has been proven that one of the most powerful economic engines in City, is from the arts.  We are thrilled to support public art throughout our community.”

Chase has been working on the murals over the course of the summer. There will be a small outdoor reception in Wyndotte Walkway on October 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The project is sponsored by the Rochester Department of Economic Development and Rochester Main Street.  Visit www.rochestermfa.org for more information.

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