BATAVIA -- Genesee Community College's upcoming art show features works of six of its own graduates, including Michael Mulley, owner of two art galleries in Buffalo.
The Alumni Art Exhibit opens Friday and runs through Nov. 8 at the Rosalie "Roz" Steiner Art Gallery in the Genesee Center for the Arts, 1 College Rd. An opening reception is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 as part of GCC's homecoming weekend.
Mulley, a Batavia native and member of GCC's Class of 1988, grew up in Country Meadows Trailer Park on Clinton Street. He is a professional freelance photographer who was once a disc jockey at the college radio station, WGCC.
Music is and was his first love, Mulley said.
"We were playing King Crimson and Frank Zappa at 10 o'clock in the morning," he said.
His interest in music led him to photographing bands, both local and national acts.
Mulley will have 10 to 12 pieces in the GCC alumni show. One of his favorites is "County Fair," of a young couple hugging at Genesee County Fair.
Mulley shot it for a course he took at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in fine art photography after he received an associate's in communications from GCC.
"I can't tell you how to make a great picture. It just happens," he said.
"County Fair" is also the cover shot of "People Like You," one of several coffee table photo books he's self published through another one of his businesses, Queen City Press.
Most of Mulley's works on display at GCC are of older buildings. He started shooting structures with interesting architecture when he moved to Buffalo about 20 years ago.
Another of his pieces in the exhibit is of the sign outside Freddie's Doughnuts, a now-closed bakery and restaurant near Main Street and Michigan Avenue in Buffalo. The place was an institution for generations of Buffalonians and Western New Yorkers.
The image of the sign evokes a visceral response among people familiar with Freddie's. Mulley said he's sold prints of the picture over and over again.
"I just thought it was a cool sign. You never know how people are going to react," he said.
Mulley operates College Street Gallery in Buffalo's artsy Allentown District.
He also runs a collective organized by 20 artists, Queen City Gallery, 217 Main St., in the Market Arcade in downtown Buffalo. The Market Arcade structure was an indoor market constructed in the 19th Century, in Beaux-Arts style, by Buffalo architect E.B. Green.
"I'm forever grateful to be in a wonderful, beautiful historic building," he said.
Mulley, 49, was a non-traditional student at GCC. He did blue collar work after he graduated from Byron-Bergen High School, and was employed at local factories such as Chapin Manufacturing and Eastern Moulding.
"I didn't fit in. I'm working at this crappy job that I can't stand.
"There's more to life," he said, and decided to attend college.
GCC instructor Robert Cooper was the person who most influenced him to pursue photography it as a course of study.
"I just took every photo course I could," he said.
"I would go back after and see Bob (Cooper)," he said.
The Alumni Art Exhibit showcases about 60 pieces from six artists who work in digital photography, nature painting, ceramics, portraiture, serigraphs, watercolors and multi-media. Joining Mulley with work in the exhibition are Amanda J. Adams, of Holley; Briana Coogan-Bassett, Warsaw; Megan Dembinski, Silver Springs; Chris Held, Leicester; Michael Mulley, Buffalo and Mary Jo Whitman, Brockport.
A Quick Look
WHAT: "Alumni Art Exhibition," a group show featuring work from six Genesee Community College graduates.
WHERE: Rosalie "Roz" Steiner Gallery in the Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd., Batavia.
WHEN: Through Nov. 8. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays to Fridays.
RECEPTION: An artist's reception is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 during GCC's homecoming weekend.
INFORMATION: Call (585) 343-0055 or go to www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts/gallery/ .