ArtRage, the Norton Putter Gallery will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary in the fall of 2023.
Dik Cool the president of Syracuse Cultural Workers, and Rose Viviano, now the Gallery Director, founded ArtRage Gallery. The gallery, with its unique mission to exhibit art for social change, continues a long tradition of progressive social activism in Central New York. Since 1982, the Syracuse Cultural Workers has published the work of artists creating work on social justice and environmental themes. From this work, Dik Cool realized there was a need to show this type of art, and more of it, to a local audience. And thus, a new organization, The CORA Foundation was formed. The first project of The CORA Foundation was to establish ArtRage Gallery.
With a generous donation from our funding donor, Ruth Putter, renovations to the building at 505 Hawley Avenue began in 2007. In gratitude of Ruth Putter’s gift, the gallery was named in honor of her late husband, Norton Putter. The gallery opened with its first exhibition, Combat Paper in October 2008.
The first year ArtRage mounted seven exhibitions! We now organize five exhibitions a season, with the occasional guest exhibition organized by others in the community. Visit “Past Exhibitions” to learn more about our exhibitions over the years.
From its start, ArtRage has continuously partnered with community organizations in both exhibitions and exhibition–related- programming. The goal is always to bring attention to the meaningful work of local activists and organizations. To that end, all of our exhibitions are paired with exhibition-related programs such as films, lectures, workshops or theatrical productions that help to expand the dialogue created by each exhibition.
Mrs. Putter continued to support ArtRage until her death on April 8, 2014. Her son, Walter Putter and his wife Marilyn Smith have continued supporting Ruth and Norton’s legacy.
Now in its 15th exhibition season, ArtRage is a thriving social justice arts organization with two staff members, a dedicated Board of Directors and many volunteers and community supporters.
The ArtRage mission is to exhibit progressive art that inspires resistance and promotes social awareness; supports social justice, challenges preconceptions and encourages cultural change. Our goal is to provide ArtRage visitors with an experience that encourages the breakdown of boundaries so that people can see themselves in the work and then in one another. And that, we believe, is the seed of a movement for cultural and social change.