International artist opens new exhibit at Rochester Art Center

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(ABC 6 News) – For those looking to escape the winter blues, it’s the opening weekend for a new art exhibit called “Well-Being and Art” at the Rochester Art Center.

The exhibit is created by international artist, Anne Labovitz, a project she has been working on for the last two years. Altogether, she says she spent more than 8,000 hours on the exhibit.

The goal of the exhibit is to show the connection between art and well-being. Labovitz said her vision behind the creation was guided with the question: “Can color, light and atmosphere provide a pathway towards well-being?”

She says there is no better time to discuss the well-being of society than now.

“Because of the global pandemic and our aging population and the mental health crisis that we have in this country, it’s very timely to think about well-being both emotional, mental, physical, spiritual in that way,” she explained. “My way to do that is through these metaphors and this artistic work.”

Labotiz uses color and light, with the goal of each visitor feeling a lot of emotions as they walk through.

“I hope they feel better than when they got here and hopefully they find some level of comfort,” Labovitz said. “They take home a sticker that provides a thought or they listen to the interviews on the QR code and hopefully they find some comfort.”

Light had a huge impact on many of pieces, some being lit up by thousands of light bulbs. Labovitz said she used light as a medium because it’s important to remember light does not exist without darkness.

“Think about the deepest, darkest, difficult moments we all have and then those lighter, more moments of joy. In some way, as a metaphor, we need the darkness to understand and appreciate when we’re having a lighter moment.”

Participation in the art itself is also important to Labovitz.

What was once a wall full of empty hooks is now filled with dozens of 6×6 artist-created squares. Each has a unique message, thought or drawing done by visitors of the exhibit.

The most eye-catching art in the exhibit is the 40-foot-tall sculpture that suspends down three stories in the middle of the art center.

Labovitz says the exhibit is for anyone and everyone to learn, grow and feel their emotions.

“You, as a viewer, will have the opportunity to experience the artwork. but also to create your own. That moment where you create your own is really a place for you to experience the benefit of being creative and expressing yourself,” she added.

The exhibit will be on display at the Rochester Art Center through July 30th.

For more information and tickets, click here.