At RoCo's '6x6' exhibition, it's hip to be square — and aware 

click to enlarge RoCo's "6x6" exhibit is back, and this year's sale of small, square artworks includes a fundraiser-within-a-fundraiser for two Puerto Rican islands. - PHOTO PROVIDED
  • PHOTO PROVIDED
  • RoCo's "6x6" exhibit is back, and this year's sale of small, square artworks includes a fundraiser-within-a-fundraiser for two Puerto Rican islands.
Now in its 15th year, Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s popular annual fundraiser, “6x6,” returns this year in a hybrid virtual and in-person iteration after a canceled event in 2020 and modified exhibition and sale of square-shaped art in 2021. And though the opening party and artwork sale takes place in early June, things get started this month with the online and in-gallery previews of this year’s 6-by-6-inch artworks, kicking off May 13 and May 31, respectively.

As usual, thousands of artworks, donated by professional and amateur artists from all corners of the world will line the entire art center and each will be available for purchase at a cost of $20. On June 2 you can bid for early buying positions, which allow the winners to purchase artworks early during the First Friday preview party on June 3. The virtual opening party and artwork sale takes place from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. Admission to the virtual party is $15 ($10 for RoCo members). Online purchasing opens June 7 at 10 a.m. and continues indefinitely, as unsold artworks from each year are still viewable and purchasable through RoCo’s website. And normal in-person gallery hours resume on June 8.

New this year is an exhibition-within-an-exhibition and a fundraiser-within-a-fundraiser titled “Square the Love,” which is a selection of 6-by-6 artworks made in Puerto Rico. The pieces will be presented to raise awareness about environmental contamination from hazardous materials left at the sites of former U.S. military bases and the resulting humanitarian crisis on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra. The Department of Defense is engaged in cleanup efforts — of substances left from exploded underwater munitions and other contaminants in the waters surrounding the islands — that it estimates will continue through 2032 and cost $800 million.

This set of artworks will be available for $40 each ($20 will support RoCo and $20 will support La Fundación de Culebra, which protects the history, environment, and culture of Culebra and Vieques). And on June 30, a separate fundraiser event will be held at RoCo for la Fundación. More information about “6x6” is available at rochestercontemporary.org.

Rebecca Rafferty is CITY’s life editor. She can be reached at [email protected].
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