Submit to ArtAwake 2015!

ArtAwake is in the works for its eighth year!
We’re now accepting submissions for art, music, and performances, so check out the submissions pages and show us what you’ve got!
This year’s directors have been chosen and you can learn more about them here!
We’re on the hunt for this year’s location, so stay tuned for more updates! Have a suggestion for the perfect ArtAwake venue in Rochester? Email

ArtAwake 2014 Cancelled

We are sad to announce that ArtAwake has been cancelled for 2014. Logistical and site issues have prevented us from holding either a spring or fall event. However, next year’s Creative Directors have been chosen, so congratulate Renee Douglas and Alyssa Marcus! If you are interested in a director position next year, check the back in the fall for more information.

Artists: If you have already submitted, we apologize that your work will not be shown this year. However, we strongly encourage you to submit again next year when the submission process begins again!


ArtAwake Team

Submit to ArtAwake 2014!

call for music call for art

ArtAwake is in the works for it’s seventh year!

We’re now accepting submissions for art, music, and performance, so check out the submissions page and show us what you’ve got!

Also, this year’s directors have been chosen and you can learn more about them here. We’re on the hunt for this year’s location, so stay tuned for more updates!


Historic Sibley Items On Display!

With just under a week to go we are getting very excited about ArtAwake 2013! We have spent the past two weekends cleaning and preparing the site. It has been quite the task! However, we are pleased to say that it is looking great. We have the walls up and we are ready to hang art! We will be having the stages delivered later this week and everything else is falling into place.

This past weekend we were able to explore the building a bit more. We were very lucky to find all of the historic Christmas decorations from the old Winter Wonderland that Sibley used to display during the Holiday season. We are even more excited that we have been allowed to use these decorations as a display for our event! For those of you that may remember the iconic displays, we are going to try our best to recreate them as best as we can. Come by on April 20th and let us know what you think!

Hope everyone is getting super excited for the event. We are all very excited to have you join us on Saturday!

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Orange Man has been spotted!

Art is awake! We discovered him sleeping outside the Memorial Art Gallery and followed him as he brought Rochester to life on his way to the site of ArtAwake 2013, the Sibley Building. Visit the ArtAwake 2013 tab on the main website to watch the video! Also, visit the ArtAwake Facebook page for pictures of our progress on the space and other updates!

Huge thanks to Devin Embil for shooting and editing the video!  Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from filming:

IMG_2145                                                                                                                                 IMG_2139                                                                                                   IMG_2131                                                                                                 IMG_2123                                                                                                 IMG_2116


Featured Artist: Peter Ferry

The performance schedule for ArtAwake 2013 is almost finalized! Check back for updates in the next few days.

As a sneak preview of what you can expect from this year’s lineup, here is our first featured performer: percussionist Peter Ferry

 Peter Ferry is a musical explorer. A self-described solo percussionist, he has ventured into unique venues such as Spot Coffee and the Rochester Contemporary Art Center and has collaborated on multimedia projects with artists in fields ranging from electronic game design to glass blowing. While finishing a degree in percussion performance at the Eastman School of Music, Ferry is enhancing the traditional concert experience and attracting new audiences – just for the fun of it! His most exciting shows are laced with the element of surprise when he cannot predict or control every aspect of the performance.

Peter returns to ArtAwake 2013 after performing with a friend’s percussion group at our 2011 event in the Alliance Building. This year he will perform a solo set featuring, notably, the Nostalgia Project – a multimedia work that uses photographs submitted by the audience in an exploration of memory and meaning. To check out Ferry’s work, visit , or drop by Kilbourn Hall at Eastman this Tuesday (the 26th) at 7 p.m. for his final recital at Eastman.

Announcing Sibley Tower: 25 Franklin Street

Hi everyone, and welcome to the ArtAwake 2013 blog! We’ll be keeping you updated on the festival’s progress as well as some cool things happening in the arts around Rochester.


First up: this year’s location. We’re pleased to announce that ArtAwake 2013 will be held on April 20th in the Sibley Tower Building at 25 Franklin Street…

The Sibley building has been a fixture of downtown Rochester since 1906. Built by Sibley’s Department Store, it took over as the company’s headquarters after a fire gutted the business’ former location in the St. Paul area. The early Sibley’s was a luxurious affair, fitting for the era of prosperity that Rochester experienced at the turn of the century. Shoppers drawn in by elaborate window displays browsed among mahogany cabinets topped with exotic plants, and dined in an upscale in-store restaurant that featured, among other things, a marble-columned soda fountain.

The building kept growing through the first half of the 20th century, eventually becoming the biggest department store between New York and Chicago. It also added modern amenities like escalators (the first in the city!), and ventured into the absurd with a state-of-the-art system of pneumatic tubes used to relay money and paperwork between the store’s departments.

Sibleys’ success lasted well into the 1950s and 60s, and the store continued to modernize, opening a number of branches in suburban areas. Prosperity did not last forever, however: the downtown store struggled throughout the 1980s, and finally shut its doors in 1990, the end of a local institution that had shaped the memories of generations of Rochesterians.

We’re all really excited to be able to work with this beautiful, historic building that has been such a meaningful part of downtown Rochester for so long – many thanks to new owners Winn Development for allowing us to use such a great space! Stay tuned for updates on this year’s artists.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came out to ArtAwake 2012 on Saturday, April 21st.  The event was a huge success and it would not have been without all of your support.  Thank you especially to Rohrbach Brewing Company and John Urlaub for allowing us to use such an awesome space.

Stayed tuned for more information about next year’s ArtAwake.

ArtAwake is in 2 Days!

ArtAwake is THIS Saturday, April 21st from 2pm to 12am.  The art is up and looks great! We can’t wait for the space to be filled with people, music, and food.  Let us know if you have any questions by emailing We are still looking for volunteers, so be sure to email us if you are interested in working the event.


The Rochester Fire Department are some of ArtAwake’s biggest fans.  Here is a picture from when they stopped by this weekend as we were setting up.