3-7pm, in-person at VSW

3-7pm: Open Studios with Riso Club of Rochester

6-7pm: VSW Resident artist Lydia Smith

  • Open Archive invites members of the public to explore the collections at Visual Studies Workshop, and learn more about the variety of resources VSW offers to the Rochester community.  This in-person event features guided tours of VSW’s extensive collections, including 16mm films, lantern slides, artist books, photographs and works on paper. Meet the VSW staff and tour our historic building, visit the bookstore and be sure to visit the short program of recently digitized early video works showing in the VSW microcinema.

    Open Archive Map of VSW PDF

    Free and open to the public, no registration required.

    The VSW Salon is programmed by Tara Merenda Nelson, taranelson@vsw.org

    The VSW Salon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts and by the ArtWorks program of the National Endowment for the Arts.


  • Photograph from the Still Image Archive. Several lantern slides on display.
  • Some of the collections at VSW include:

    The Photographic Print Collection contains 15,000 original photographic or photo-mechanical prints made by 2,200 known photographers and more than 600,000 examples of vernacular or anonymous images in most formats and processes. The print collection shows examples of every type of photographic practice, from the family snapshot to the fine art print, and include work of every era, from the daguerreotypes of the 1840s, to digital prints from the present day. VSW holds the artist archives of Barbara Blondeau, Alice Wells, Michael Bishop, Syl Labrot, and Lajaren Hiller.

    The VSW Video Archive houses more than 5,000 videos in six formats made by artists, activists and students between the 1970’s and the early 2000’s. Much of the content on these tapes is very rare and unique, including documentation of the aftermath of the Attica uprising, multi-channel video art, early computer animation and the history of community organizing in Rochester.

  • VSW Video Archive
  • The VSW Film Archive contains over 5,000 16mm films, many of which were donated by the Rochester Public Library, Phyllis Wheatley Library, SUNY Brockport and the University of Rochester. Educational films, cartoons, documentaries and science films are heavily featured in this collection, with a significant selection of experimental and avant-garde films and home movies from the Rochester region.

    VSW’s Independent Press Archive includes over 5,000 publications made by artists and independent publishers. The IPA was established from the publishing activity of the VSW Press and the Book Bus distribution program, both established in the 1970’s. Artist books, poetry, chapbooks and unique historical documents are included in this collection.

    The VSW Lantern Slide Archive houses a collection of over 65,000 nineteenth and early twentieth century glass lantern slides and related equipment. Lantern Slides from MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and several regional Science and Historical societies are included in this collection.

  • Nathan Lyons Research Center