UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – From now until September 18th, residents of Central New York can visit the Norman Rockwell exhibition at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (MWPAI), right in downtown Utica.

This exhibit is typically only available for view in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so now that they are right here in Utica, a whole new audience has the ability to view them in real life, right in their own backyards.

“It’s really a landmark presentation because it’s never been shown in this part of the country in Central New York state, and it’s really a wonderful look at the depth and breadth of Rockwell’s career,” said Stephen Harrison, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Munson-Williams-Proctor.

Rockwell is known for painting the everyday lives of regular Americans through incredibly monumental parts of history; Two world wars, the Great Depression, and civil rights struggles have all been illustrated in his work.

Although these were some of the darkest times in American history, Rockwell found a way to exhibit optimism through his art – a lesson that can be instilled even today in 2022.

“He’s an artist that really speaks to the best of America, and really that optimism and hope and positivity that he liked to portray in his images really resonates today,” said Harrison.

“And just like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on the big screen in the Great Depression, you know, it gives us a sense of other worldliness that there’s something better to strive for.”

Again, this exhibit is now open until September 18th of this year – right on Genesee Street in Utica.