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In 1990 the Pyramid had an invitational exhibit entitled "The City." I decided to work the connection between my large family and Rochester. I chose one person from each household in the two gererations just before mine and I painted them at work.

A Family, A Century, The City Series © 1990 Paul Dodd, house paint on billboard paper 48"x60"

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A Family, A Century, The City Series © 1990 Paul Dodd, house paint on billboard paper 48"x60"

From Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Written by John Worden
"The City" Pyramid Arts Center December 16,1990 -January 6,1991

If one were to look for the heart of this expansive exhibit of work, it might well be found in the ten large acrylic paintings by Paul Dodd, one of the three artists whose work physically dominate the gallery space. Mr. Dodd comes from a family with roots in Rochester reaching back at least three generations on both sides. Biographical information and diagrams of his family tree accompany the works, affectionate, whimsical portraits of each grandfather, and several of his aunts and uncles. Of one set of grandparents he writes, 'they had a house built on Burlington Avenue and lived there the rest of their lives.'

There is a resemblance in these portraits to a convention in daguerreotype portraiture, in which the sitter chose to have his image taken with the implements of his trade in hand, a harkening back to values of self-reliance and usefulness which are perhaps more characteristic of an earlier age: an aunt is shown in her role of 'nurse at St. Mary's Hospital,' an uncle who "spent most of his time at Hawkeye on St. Pau( Street." Another unclewho 'worked forthe old Standard Brewery' is depicted with some bottles of the long-gone but once essentially Rochester brands of Topper Beer and Standard Ale behind him. There is something rather comforting in the benign gaze of Dodd's relatives and in the short litany of place and product names, a quiet sense of hometown pride, that seems to belong in any artistic portrait of this city.