ARTISANworks – Rochester, New York - Atlas Obscura


The floor-to-ceiling collection in an old factory is a unique alternative to stuffy galleries. 


Paintings, prints, sculptures, and taxidermy cover the walls in the old Farrell Plant. Some find it to be a cluttered disgrace to the world of art collecting, but to others, it’s a welcome antidote to the more pretentious art galleries of New York City.

ARTISANworks, a floor-to-ceiling collection in the renovated industrial space is the culmination of founder Louis Perticone’s bizarre style of art collecting. He owns every single piece in the 50,000-square-foot space.

He often simply buys every work an artist has and displays each piece according to its popularity: eye-level is reserved for the best, and less loved works are towards the floor or ceiling. He’d like to see his unique model used to revitalize other abandoned industrial areas throughout the U.S.

Perticone guesses he has around 500,000 items all told, though some are stored in three off-site warehouses. The project is nonprofit, completely self-funded, and boasts a movie room and a Frank Lloyd Wright room designed using the architect’s distinctive style.

ARTISANworks, like many other art galleries, holds exhibit openings and workshops, but with 10 or so artists living and working onsite, it is really a space all its own. Aside from purchasing art from artists all over the country, Perticone pays local artists a stipend to create works for him.

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