ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Mike Dellaria first rose to prominence in the Rochester community as a street artist under the name “Dellarious,” putting up wheat pastes of famous Rochesterians, or Rochester iconography.
He has “pasted” images of Fred Rogers, Susan B Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and more, across Rochester’s walls, highway supports, and transformer markets.
Many of his images have been shared thousands upon thousands of times on social media.
“It seemed like a quick and easy way to do a bunch of new pieces, rapid-fire,” Dellaria said of his street art. “I never anticipated a response like that, it’s really heartwarming.”
He describes his art as influenced by pop art but often features Rochester greats or Rochester icons and memes.
“I try to keep it true myself, stuff that inspires me, and Rochester is one of my biggest inspirations,” Dellaria said. “There’s so much history and culture… A lot of material to work with I guess.”
One year ago — after starting his art career 10 years prior — he bought a space in the Rochester public market. The small building allowed him just enough room to have both a workshop and a retail space.
“It (gave) me a chance to push those creative boundaries, ” he said.
But he was finding that he needed some extra space, to keep the workshop more isolated from the retail side. After all, his shop was filled with prints, mugs, stickers, magnets, t-shirts, and more.
Due to the success of his store, as well as sales from places like Record Archive, Parkleigh, and Wegmans, he was able to expand next door.
Now, his original blue building is the workshop, and the yellow building next door is for retail. It feels both like a retail space, and an art gallery. It’s open with room to browse, has plenty of natural light, and as of Tuesday, it still smells like freshly sawn wood.
While some of the art has other historical figures, most of the art is about Rochester. Dellaria hopes that people take some of that hometown pride with them.
“It’s a wonderful place with a lot of stuff going on and hopefully people can see that,” he said.
The shop is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., and will be open during the public market’s designated holiday shopping days.