Many visitors and neighbors have noticed something missing from the facade of The Rockwell – where in the world is Artemus the Bison?
Update 6.13.18: Artemus is back!
Where is Artemus?
Short answer: Artemus is safe and sound!
Long answer: You may have noticed that in addition to Artemus’ absence, there is a lot of other activity at The Rockwell lately. For Old City Hall’s 125th birthday, the building is getting a facelift, including over 60 window replacements! With all the cranes, lifts and workers going back and forth for this project, it was best for Artemus to be temporarily removed from his post for his own safety.
At the adventurous age of 19, Artemus is taking the opportunity to visit artist Tom Gardner for a facelift of his own, and then proceed to travel the world. Follow Artemus’ adventures on Instagram
Will he be back?
Yes! Artemus will return to his home facing Cedar Street once the window renovation project is complete. As with many construction projects, the exact date is yet to be determined.
Where did Artemus come from?
Artemus is one of several public art pieces created by Tom Gardner – others from the series include a melting clock dropping from the front of West End Gallery and the smiling face at the corner of Chestnut Stree and Market Street. The creation of Artemus was made possible by a grant from the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes Project Funding Program, and he was installed in September 1999.
Artemus is created primarily with fiberglass, with a sturdy metal skeleton.
Artemus received his name through a community contest – short for a sentiment important to The Rockwell – art is a must!
Tell me more about the artist!
Like many artists, Tom Gardner claims to create because he must. Known for many public sculptural artworks, Gardner is a painter at heart who believes “art should be accessible to everyone without explanation.” After living in California in the late 60s, Gardner moved back to rural Upstate New York to build his studio, inspired by the ever-changing panorama of the region.
Gardner describes himself as largely self-taught and he is an avid learner. After college, he continued to seek opportunities to grow and he painted regularly for many years with Thomas S. Buechner and Martin Poole in Corning, New York. He has also found workshops and classes elsewhere on specific techniques to be helpful; but largely he visits galleries and museums, reads and listens to the voice within him, more and more finding his own artistic vocabulary and vision. His oil paintings can be seen at West End Gallery in Corning.
Tell me more about the building project!
The window frames, now custom aluminum, were made by Marvin Windows of New York. These new and improved windows are more energy efficient and more stable than the 125-year-old windows that are being replaced. The installation is being completed by Welliver.
We’re also taking the opportunity to remove the large wooden shutters on the interior of the building, and being replaced by translucent shades. This will allow more natural light to enter the museum, as well as allow visitors to see the stunning views of surrounding Corning.
Is the Museum still open during the project?
Yes! The Rockwell is open every day, now with extended summer hours (9 a.m to 8 p.m.). While some sidewalks may be blocked or inaccessible, the Museum is operating as usual.