Buffalo Artist Leroi C. Johnson  One of Two Artists Representing USA at Terra Art International's "Art of The America's "  on view October 24,25,26 in Ottawa during Canada's 150th Anniversary !

Celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary!

Tuesday, October 24 @ 6.30pm.

VIII edition of latin American Art Exhibition of TERRA ART Terra Art & The Group of Latin American Ambassadors; have the pleasure to invite you to the Opening of Latín American Art 2017 titled “ART OF THE AMERICA” /   intitulé  “ART DES AMÉRIQUES ”

Terra Art is pleased to present its 8th consecutive Art Exhibition of Latin American, entitled "Art of the Americas" this year. The exhibition will be held October 22-26 in the Jean Piggott Ward of the City of Ottawa, 110 Laurier Ave. W. Ottawa.

This Exhibition will portray the soul and deep sentiments of North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean through the artists' representations. We have compiled emerging and mid-career artists from most of the countries that will be participating this year. 

Terra Art, a leader in artistic processes with more than 8 years of experience promoting different international artists, Terra Art brings together this year works by 34 painters and 1 Sculpture from 20 countries of the Americas, with the usual auspices of Latin American diplomatic missions and North American entities. The opening of the exhibition will be on October 24 at 6.30pm. until the 26, with schedules of gallery of 10am. At 8p.m.

This year, Terra Art adds to its program a concert with the “Colores Andinos” group, on Sunday, October 22 and a literary evening, on Thursday, 26.

Program:

Sunday 22 OCT. 3 p.m. - Andean Colors Concert

7 musicians from the Americas exploring Andean ethnic roots in harmony with elements of contemporary genres such as salsa, cumbia and Latin jazz. More than 20 instruments with original and other traditional songs arranged and interpreted from a unique perspective that emanates from musical training and long experience of its members, originally from Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru and Canada. A multicultural combination that only happens in Canada!

Tuesday 24 OCT. 6.30 p.m.- Inauguration of the exhibition

Terra Art presents 67 works by 34 painters, 1 sculpture from 20 countries of the Americas. A composition of emerging artists and others already enshrined in their respective countries, which testifies to recent innovations and plastic trends. The presentation will be by Lilia Faulkner.

Opening reception by invitation Only!

Thursday OCT. 26, 7 p.m.- Literary evening

Terra Art inaugurates this year a space for literary creation in Spanish. This evening will consist of reading works (poetry, stories, reflections) of Latin American authors, by local writers and other readers. Those interested in participating can contact Ramon Sepulveda @ ramonsep@gmail.com - until September 30th.

This year, the TERRA ART exhibition will spotlight a group of famous and acclaimed Canadian and US artists as well as others from the Americas whose works were invited directly from their countries thanks to the auspices of their respective Embassies in Canada: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

During the exhibition, TERRA ART will have the honour of publicly recognizing the effort and collaboration of three distinguished individuals for their unconditional support to Latin American Art:

- His Excellency, Julio Garmendia, (Ambassador of Cuba),

- Mrs. Deborah Ojeda (Minister of the Embassy of Cuba), and

 - Ana Ramirez (Distinguished Curator of International and Latin American Art).

Following the presentations will be a reception where interaction with the artists who are present is encouraged.

Participating Artists:

• Canada: Master Rita Letendre, Shirley Van Dusen, Carlos Aranha & Ian Smith (sculpture),

• USA: Kay Griffith & Leroi C. Johnson

• Mexico: Hector Tovar & Dalia Mendoza,

• Argentina: Silvia Bompadre, Luis Marson & Lidia Panart,

• Bolivia: Gilkawara Liberman,

• Brazil: Marly Oliveira & Fabiola Bedin Lima,

• Chile: Lucy Kuwahara,

• Colombia: Edgar Francisko Jiménez & Gloria Palacio,

 Costa Rica: Lizeth Gonzales,

• Cuba: Michel Mirabal & Yoel Finalet,

• Dominican Republic: Chichi Reyes,

• Ecuador: Luis Millingali & Galo Chaves,

• El Salvador: Benjamin Cañas & Oscar De Las Flores,

• Guatemala: Marta Beatriz Cáceres,

• Honduras: Dennis Cerrato & Sergio Martinez,

• Nicaragua: Javier Valle Perez & Edgar Pasquier,

 . Guatemala: Marta Beatriz Caceres,

• Paraguay: Hilda Valenzano, 

. Peru: Joselito Sabogal & Jorge Arce,

• Uruguay: Daniel Tomasini,

• Venezuela: Lilian Bolivar.

  "ART OF THE AMERICAS" 2017 is pleased to present Master Rita Letendre as the principal artist to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of Canada. Canadian abstract painter Master Rita Letendre is one of the most recognized living artists of her time. Her work has been widely exhibited, with her powerful paintings gracing numerous public spaces, galleries and private collections in Canada, the USA, Israel, France and Italy. The renowned ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO is presently exhibiting a comprehensive retrospective of her works of art called FIRE AND LIGHT until the end of October 2017.

 

Sponsors of this year:

- Star Motors of Ottawa Mercedes- Benz, 

- BRIGIL by Susan Perez, 

- Elements Luxury Tented Camp, 

- Gallery Gevick - Toronto, 

- Canadian Film Institute,

- Radio Barrio Latino Ottawa, 

- Fettuccine’s restaurant, and 

- Arts World One.  

Community Set to Celebrate the Completion of The Freedom Wall!

The Artists (in photo to the right): Edreys Wajed, Julia BottomsDouglas, John Baker, and Chuck Tingley

The Artists (in photo to the right): Edreys Wajed, Julia BottomsDouglas, John Baker, and Chuck Tingley

Celebrate the completion of The Freedom Wall with talented artists John Baker, Julia BottomsDouglas, Chuck Tingley, and Edreys Wajed and the community on Sunday, September 17 from 2-6 p.m. rain or shine.

The event takes place on Michigan Avenue between East Ferry and Main Streets. Enjoy a free cookout in partnership with Buffalo United Front and performances by Drea d'Nur, the African American Cultural Center, the Performing Arts High School Choir, and DJ Reazon. Today, if you stand at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, you will find yourself standing at a critical cultural crossroads of our region, but you might not recognize it as such.

This corner is the northern entrance into the Historic Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. You will see Bethel AME, Buffalo’s oldest Black religious institution, organized in 1831 and a critical station on the Underground Railroad. You might even notice that the intersection announces in small signs the junction of the honorary intersection of Richard Allen Way and Harriet Tubman Way.

At the corner of this same intersection is a large concrete wall, nearly eleven feet tall and 300 feet long, surrounding the property of the NFTA Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Depot. The NFTA approved this location in collaboration with the Albright Knox Public Art Initiative as the ideal space for the “Freedom Wall” project. “My hope is that the wall establishes a space that is visible in a way that is hard to ignore with impactful imagery that sparks dialogue about the things that matter in our community, not just about the importance and history of our civil rights leaders, but as a catalyst to talk about other issues that confront communities of color in general and citizens of the East Side in particular” stated Albright Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott.

The leaders are depicted on the wall were chosen by conducting interviews and public meetings in collaboration with members of our community, consulting with faith-based organizations, through conversations with local and national historians, partnering with local stakeholders and agencies, and through research conducted in conjunction with curriculum responding to this project developed at SUNY Buffalo State.

Jefferson Avenue Arts Festival SaturdayAugust 26th !

  Sanpshot from one of the Vendor Tables At The Festival in 2016

  Sanpshot from one of the Vendor Tables At The Festival in 2016

The Jefferson Avenue Arts Festival will be held this weekend on Saturday, August 26 on Jefferson between E. Utica and E. Ferry Streets. Featured activities will be praise and worship, a parade, entertainment, vendor and children’s activities. Celebrate art, culture and community on Jefferson Avenue! Sponsored annually by 50 Women with A Vision, additional sponsors include Mayor Byron W. Brown, Legislator Betty Jean Grant, Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams, Masten Councilman Ulysees O. Wingo Sr., Masten District Block Club Coalition Inc.,GROUP Ministries, Inc., African American Cultural Center, John Fatta, and The Foundry Inc. For more information, call 882-7594 or 883-4367.

SHAPE OF A POCKET

 A Squeaky Wheel Group Exhibition Investigating Forms of Resistance: 

Opening Reception: July 7, 6–9pm
On View: June 30–August 26, 2017
Events: July 29, August 12, August 25

Featuring work by Morgan Arnett, Jason Bernagozzi, Charlie Best and Jaz Palermo, W. Michelle Harris, Kyla Kegler, Dana McKnight, Przemyslaw Moskal, Van Tran Nguyen, Elisa Peebles and the United Melanin Society, Carl Spartz, Kalpana Subramanian, and Tony Yanick.

How can the shape of a work be a site of resistance? How do collaborative practices inform our ideas of activism in art? What does it mean for resistance to happen in an exhibition context?

Squeaky Wheel’s summer group exhibition  Shape of a Pocket features a number of artists aiming to take these questions to task, while asking their own. Comprised of installations, performances, single-screen video work, video games, locative sound and media pieces, the exhibition points to strictures and traumas that have roots far preceding our current political moment, while proposing visions, sounds, and networks for a future.

The opening reception on July 7 includes a screening program, a collaborative performance by Elisa Peebles and the United Melanin Society, and a VJ dance-party set titled Flawless Ladies by W. Michelle Harris.
Squeaky Wheel will also be releasing a video series of artist conversations throughout the exhibition.


Event Program July through August


Saturday, July 29, 3pm
Dislocations: A Sound Walk with Kalpana Subramanian

Artist Kalpana Subramanian will present a artist talk/screening at Squeaky Wheel, followed by a tour with the audience of the Allentown neighborhood where participants can experience her locative sound work Dislocations.

Saturday, August 12, 3pm
Ad Hoc Mobile Network with Tony Yanick
Artist Tony Yanick will lead a raspberry pi workshop on how participants can build their own local networks, while exploring how other artists and activists have utilized such structures and systems.

Friday, August 25, 7pm
Shape of a Pocket: Screening
The day preceding the closing of Shape of a Pocket will see a repeat of the screening that accompanies the exhibition, featuring work by Morgan Arnett, Jason Bernagozzi, Charlie Best and Jaz Palermo, Kyla Kegler, and Elisa Peebles.

The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the general public. Squeaky Wheel's public hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 12–5pm.

 For more information on Squeaky Wheel event programs, contact ekrem@squeaky.org or follow them on their website and social media.

Shape of a Pocket is curated by Squeaky Wheel curator Ekrem Serdar, in collaboration with jury members Amber Dennis (curator, The Schoolyard), John Massier (curator, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center), and Caitlin Margaret Coder (Squeaky Wheel Spring 2017 Curatorial Intern).


Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center has a mission to continue a legacy of innovation in media arts through access, education, and exhibition. We envision a community that uses electronic media and film to celebrate freedom of expression and diversity of voice.

Squeaky Wheel’s exhibition programs, residencies and events are made possible with generous support by the County of Erie and County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the National Endowment of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and individual members, businesses, and supporters. Support Squeaky by becoming a member or donating to Squeaky Wheel here.

Albright Knox Announces

Final Four Artists for Public Art Project

       The Final Four Artists L/R Edreys Wajed, Julia Douglas, John Baker, Chuck Tingley

       The Final Four Artists L/R Edreys Wajed, Julia Douglas, John Baker, Chuck Tingley

As a result of several successfulcommunity meetings led by Albright Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott and his team who sought out  community input for one of their new public art projects announced earlier this year called the Freedom Wall (working title) has made great progress and the Gallery has announced that it will add three new artists to execute the planned mural at the corner of Michigan Ave and Ferry Street, on the wall surrounding the property of the NFTA Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Depot and Offices. The final four artists selected as pictured above will be Edreys Wajed, Julia Douglas, John Baker and Chuck Tingley,  Each artist is a native of Buffalo, currently lives and works in the region and all hold a degree from SUNY Buffalo State College. All of the artists will actively host workshop opportunities during the installation period of the mural that is set to begin this summer.  "These artists were selected with vital input from several of our local community meetings. Without the impassioned commitment of many in our region, this project would not be as broadly representative as it has become, with artists crossing the boundaries of age, gender, and race to produce an unparalleled and unprecedented work. We are thrilled to be working with such phenomenal local talent” says Ott.

The wall that will serve as the canvas for this historical project has 29 columned spaces that will act as frames to be used for the depiction of portraits of notable civil rights leaders in American History both locally and nationally known. The site stands to become a formal and dramatic entrance into the Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor. Go to albrightknox.org to learn more.

 

More About The Artists

Edreys Wajed

Edreys Wajed is an artist, educator, performer, and entrepreneur based in Buffalo. Wajed’s most recent series of drawings consist of black and white line-based representations often taking the form of expressive yet minimal portraiture. Initially started as a daily practice to expand his creative output, Wajed has created over 700 individual works in this series.

Wajed is well known locally as a multitalented artist expressing his talents through the creation of jewelry, spoken word, music, and educational activities. Wajed has said of his artistic ambition that his “inspiration is to actually BE an inspiration. I want to be an inspiration to others through my thoughts, words and actions.” Wajed’s unyielding positivity and generous spirit result in a visionary practice that is the culmination of committed and sensitive observation of the world. This provides Wajed with purpose larger than himself; one which he shares generously to inspire those around him to “get real for real results.”

Julia Douglas

Julia Douglas.jpg

Julia Douglas is a Buffalo-based artist focused on realistic and recognizable representations, using portraiture to give a glimpse of people of color as sensitive, sincere, and multi-faceted; images that the artist feels are often missing in mainstream portrayals. Douglas has previously focused on depictions of men in part because she feels a “certain level of expressive privilege often denied to men by our culture,” giving her the freedom to explore and deviate from notions of accepted but deeply flawed racial stereotypes and distorted gender roles. Recently her work has slightly broadened, focusing less on gender specifics as it turns towards aspects of character in general.

Douglas feels that in a culture that so often markets reductive representations of the beauty, grace and intellect of people of color that it is necessary to produce and promote nuanced and constructive images that actively break that cycle. Douglas proudly asserts, “People of color have been trapped in someone else’s narrative for too long, and when we have tried to write our own, we have often been erased from the mainstream’s history books. I believe it is time for us to use the talents we possess to speak our truth. Our lives are worthy of dialogue.”

Douglas has exhibited regionally and will have an exhibition of her work at the Buffalo Arts Studio, Tinted: A Visual Statement on Color, Identity, and Representation (April 28 – June 2, 2017). Douglas is the inaugural artist for the Open Buffalo Emerging Artist Series. Douglas is also a contributing writer for AFROPUNK.

John Baker

John Baker.jpg

John Baker is a nationally recognized artist, curator, and educator from Buffalo. Baker is a natural story-teller and focuses his production on images designed to elicit emotional responses intended to inspire viewers to learn more about the subject matter at hand. As an artist, Baker has executed murals, participated in solo and group exhibitions locally and nationally, and has engaged diverse communities in a dedicated and life-long effort to share the value of cultural production.

Baker is a multitalented curator and educator, having developed exhibitions with numerous institutions, each time providing unique visitor experiences, supporting dynamic outreach opportunities, and encouraging inquire-based learning for all audiences. Baker is a long-celebrated activist for artists in the region, often providing young artists with their inaugural opportunities for workshops and exhibitions. His tireless support of other artist’s practices has led to his recent advancement as the president of the newly formed Western New York Urban Arts Collective, a group assembled to provide mutual support for representation in the region, especially for underserved artists and artists of color.

Baker displays an unparalleled sensitivity to the impact of art on individuals’ lived experiences and his familiarity with the history of our local communities provides a significant asset for the development and execution of this project.

Chuck Tingley

Chuck TIngley.jpg

Chuck Tingley’s art is primarily focused on figurative representations through drawing and painting. His concentration on realistically rendered figures is made dynamic and emotional through his expressionistic application of layers of paint and the inclusion of abstract designs hovering amid sheer backgrounds. Tingley hopes that his work connects spiritually and psychologically with his viewers in a way that allows them to plumb their own passions and to build unique narratives based on their individual perceptions.

Tingley received his BFA in painting from SUNY Buffalo State. He relocated to Lockport, NY in 2013 and currently maintains a studio in Buffalo's Larkin District. His work has appeared in the regional publications Artvoice, The Public, and Spark Magazine. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Olean Public Library in Olean, NY, and El Museo Gallery and High-Temp Fabrication in Buffalo. He has also been included in group exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Erie Art Museum in Erie, PA.

Tingley has executed numerous public murals in Western New York including commissions for Artpark, Glow Gallery, and most recently Art Alley in Niagara Falls. In 2015 and 2016, he received Decentralization Grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, and also in 2016, he was honored by the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York as a finalist for the “Artist of the Year” Spark Cultural Award.

 

The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is recognized as home to one of the world’s leading collections of contemporary and modern art. With more than 7,000 objects in its collection and a dynamic series of exhibitions and public programs, the Albright-Knox continues to grow and to fulfill its mission to acquire, exhibit, and preserve contemporary and modern art in an enriching, dynamic, and vibrant environment.

MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY takes place on the first Friday of every month from 10 am to 10 pm. Closed Mondays and Independence, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors and students; $5 for children ages 6 to 12; FREE for AK Members and children 5 and under. Additional fees may apply for certain special exhibitions. For additional information, please visit www.albrightknox.org.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s annual operations are supported, in part, by public funds from the County of Erie and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the generosity of our Members. M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY is made possible by a generous grant from M&T Bank; media sponsorship is provided by Kiss 98.5, and free parking is provided by NOCO. The Art’scool program is presented by BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York with additional support provided by an anonymous donor, KeyBank, the Robert J. & Martha B. Fierle Foundation, Lawley, Karen and Richard Penfold, the Buffalo Bills Foundation, the Allentown Village Society, and Anne Conable. Access AK is made possible through the generous support of the James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. Endowment; The William M. Wood Foundation; an anonymous donor; and National Fuel. The Innovation Lab was founded with leadership support from The John R. Oishei Foundation, The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

 

Memories Making Special exhibition

featuring the artistry of Phyllis Thompson 

Phyllis Thompson Memories of Making Special #7, 2015, monotype, chine-collé, collage, drawing,       13.5" x 19"

Phyllis Thompson Memories of Making Special #7, 2015, monotype, chine-collé, collage, drawing,       13.5" x 19"

El Museo Gallery cordially invites you to the opening reception of the Memories Making Special exhibition featuring the artistry of Phyllis Thompson: 

Opened Friday, May 5  Show Closes on May 27th

El Museo Gallery 91 Allen Street Buffalo, NY

       Artist / Printmaker  Phyllis Thompson 

       Artist / Printmaker  Phyllis Thompson 

Phyllis Thompson is a printmaker with extensive training having received degrees in printmaking from the Philadelphia College of Art and Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She has taught printmaking and art education at Cornell University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and SUNY Buffalo State where she recently retired from full-time teaching, presently a lecturer.  Thompson has been a resident artist at Buffalo Arts Studio - a complex of studio spaces, galleries and gift shop for artists working in many different media - since 2011. 

She uses assorted collage materials and various print processes to create one-of-a kind mixed media monotypes that explore cultural identity through memories of family, relationships, and ancestors. Her visually complex works have been shown in galleries and museums across the United States and Asia including the University of Wisconsin Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Western New York Book Arts Center, and Capital Normal University in Beijing, China.   

Memories of Making Special, an exhibition featuring her works, is on view now thru May 27, 2017 at El Museo, 91 Allen Street. Buffalo, NY. Gallery hours are Wednesdays–Saturdays noon –6 pm, for more info visit elmuseobuffalo.org or call 716.464.4692 

Photo Credit below: David Moog (b. 1944), Phyllis Thompson, 2017; Archival inkjet print, 20 x 15 inches; Gift of the artist, copyright David Moog, 2017, Artists Seen

Rwanda: Landscape and Memory A Work In Progress

Brendan Bannon To Discuss Photographic Journey

Award-winning photojournalist Brendan Bannon will present an Artist’s Talk to discuss his photographic journey Thursday, April 20, on his RWANDA: Landscape and Memory A Work In Progress exhibition currently on view at the Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Hotel Lenox, 140 North Street, Buffalo. The event, 6 – 8 PM (talk starts at 6:30 PM), is free and open to the public.          Brendan Bannon is Buffalo-born photographer and teacher based between New York and Nairobi, Kenya. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian and many other publications.

“How do people see the places where they live? What do they remember as they stand before their past? How is memory connected to the very ground under their feet? These were the questions I explore with the pictures in this exhibition,” said Bannon. The site of one of the worst calamities of modern times, Rwanda has emerged from the shadows of its past. Widely hailed as one of Africa’s success stories, skyscrapers rise in the capital city Kigali. Explore what the landscape means to Rwandans today 23 years after the genocide. 

The photographs were made during a series of journeys around the country, guided by Rwandans who shared bits of myth, folk stories and personal reminiscences related to the places pictured. Each photograph explores how memory is connected to the land and how the land shapes memory. 

The RWANDA: Landscape and Memory A Work In Progress will be on view thru Wednesday, April 26. Nina Freudenheim Gallery at Hotel Lenox 140 North Street daily hours 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday - Friday; Monday and Saturday by appointment, 716-882-5777.

At The Albright Knox: The Amazing Shantell Martin

Exhibiton view until June 25. OnFriday April 7 the artist will be In Conversation at the Albright Knox with Public Art Curator Aaron Ott during M&T’sFirst Friday Event.

photography by Connie Tsang

photography by Connie Tsang

Her mantra is “draw on everything” and that is exactly what artist Shantell Martin does. 

Hersolo show “Someday We Can,” a large scale wall drawing and plethora of found objects, toys and artifacts on view until June 25 at Buffalo’s Albright Knox Gallery , is a definite must see. Featured on Shantell’ssignature black ink on white surfaces isthe power of her initial unbroken line that she calls the “DNA.” All of her work is one line that continually connects many worlds. 

The renowned young artist has been drawing since she was a little girl growing up in the Thamesmead estate public housing complex in London. Since she wasn’t allowed to draw on the walls, she would take a pen and draw characters underneath her bed and inside the curtains in her bedroom. It was then that she first developed the stick figures that show up in her work today. “There are two types of stick men, those who push and pull and hold the work together,” says Martin. “And then there are the stick men who play around and are lazy. It’s a reminder that you have to work and you have to have fun,” she noted in an interview with Vogue Magazine a few years ago.

Shantell crafts a raw delightful narrative leaving behind a whimsical large scale masterpiece of lines, characters and new language that provokes fresh, spirited endless, conversation all while wrapping you in a meditative rhythmic flow that is music to your eyes. 

She recently collaborated with hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar for Music Meets Art for American Express Music project where both artists combined doing what they love to create-  one magical layered expression of art. (You can see the clip on youtube). 

This current exhibition is not limited to the walls of the Albright. This will be the first time an artist, working with the Albright –Knox public art initiative, installs work simultaneously at the museum and in the community. Supported by a grant from University at Buffalo’s Creative Arts Initiative, the artist will work with the public art team, UB students and East Side community representatives to identify the final wall location for a permanent mural.

On Friday April 7 from 7:30-8:30the artist Shantell Martin will be in conversation with Albright-Knox public art curator Aaron Ott during M&T’s First Friday event. Admission to First Friday is free and the hours are from 10am – 10pm. All encouraged to attend. Learn More About Shantell Martin at shantellmartin.art and go to albrightknox.org for more info on the show and upcoming events. lh

 

NEW PUBLIC ART PROJECT A SOURCE OF PRIDE!

A RENDERING OF CHUCK TINGLEY’S FORTHCOMING MURAL SHOWING PORTRAITS OF JAMES BALDWIN AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

A RENDERING OF CHUCK TINGLEY’S FORTHCOMING MURAL SHOWING PORTRAITS OF JAMES BALDWIN AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

*A Series of Public Meetings Seeking Community Input Planned.What Civil Rights Leaders Would You Like to See Included? Next meeting will be held February 22, 6pm at Frank Merriweather Library

Today, if you stand at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street in Buffalo, you will find yourself standing at a critical cultural crossroads of our region, but you might not recognize it as such. This corner is the northern entrance into the Historic Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor. You will see Bethel AME, Buffalo’s oldest Black religious institution, organized in 1831 and a critical station on the Underground Railroad. You might even notice that the intersection announces in small signs the junction of the honorary intersection of Richard Allen Way and Harriet Tubman Way. 

At the corner of this same intersection is a large concrete wall, nearly eleven feet tall and 300 feet long, surrounding the property of the NFTA Cold Spring Bus Maintenance Depot, and although final contracts have not been signed, the NFTA has approved this location in collaboration with the Albright Knox Public Art Initiative as the ideal space for a proposed project with the working title “Freedom Wall.” Working with the architecture of the wall, the current design will allows for a mural to be divided into 29 sections, to depict portraits of notable civil rights leaders in American history, past and present. The scale of the wall creates a unique opportunity to present a historical narrative that recognizes well known national activists alongside equally important but less widely known local leaders. This site-specific project will respond to the significance of the location. It stands to become a destination as well as a formal and dramatic entrance into the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor in celebration of our nation’s civil rights legacy.  

In conversation with Challenger Community News Albright Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott points to a quote by Dr. King in support of his goals for the project: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.   

“My hope is that the wall establishes a space that is visible in a way that is hard to ignore with impactful imagery that sparks dialogue about the things that matter in our community, not just about the importance and history of our civil rights leaders, but as a catalyst to talk about other issues that confront communities of color in general and citizens of the East Side in particular” say’s Ott.  

The leaders that will be depicted on the wall will be chosen by conducting interviews and public meetings in collaboration with members of our community, consulting with faith-based organizations, through conversations with local and national historians, partnering with local stakeholders and agencies, and through research conducted in conjunction with curriculum responding to this project developed at SUNY Buffalo State. 

Public participation and feedback is encouraged. A series of public meetings to discuss the topic of freedom through the lens of civil rights as our community defines it will be held in collaboration with Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Coalition, Bethel AME and Open Buffalo, where a gathering of suggestions for the content for the final mural will be discussed. The first meeting will be held February 16, 5:30pm at Buffalo Visual Academy of Performing Arts, 450 Masten Ave. 

Buffalo native and SUNY Buffalo State graduate artist Chuck Tingley will begin painting the 29 portraits in the summer of 2017. Tingley has executed numerous public murals in Western New York and most recently, Art Alley in Niagara Falls. In 2016 he was honored by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York as a Finalist for the “Artist of the Year” Spark Cultural Award.

The artist hopes that his work connects spiritually and psychologically with his viewers in a way that allows them to plumb their own passions and to build unique narratives based on their individual sensations and perceptions.

Stay in the loop and visit the Albright Knox Website for further  updates on the project

THE SCORES OF A MAN: A REVIVAL OF JULIUS EASTMAN

Burchfield Penney pays tribute to the enigmatic composer, whose brazen and brilliant music was all but forgottenby Renata Toney 

JULIUS EASTMN1COL.jpg

On May 28, 1990, the classical composer-performer Julius Eastman passed away at age 49 in Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York. Nine months later, his obituary appeared in The Village Voice; none of his friends and colleagues knew until then. Eastman was an enigma, both comfortable and uncomfortable in the many worlds he inhabited: black, white, gay, straight, classical music, disco, academia, Buffalo and downtown New York. 

 In keeping with its commitment to recognize Buffalo’s significance in the development of the avant- garde art scene, the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State will pay tribute to the ground-breaking composer America almost forgot Friday, February 10 with a series of performances. Part of The Center’s M&T Second Friday celebrations, this event is free thanks to M&T Bank and the Cullen Foundation.  

There is a renewed interest in Eastman, his work and significant impact. “His music, insistent and straight forward, seethes with a tension that resonates with musicians, scholars, and audiences today,” writes Renee Levine Packer, co-editor of Gay Guerilla, who will present a talk and book signing during the tribute to the notable American artist. “Eastman’s provocative titles, including Gay Guerrilla, Evil 

Nigger, Crazy Nigger, and others assault us with his pain and obsessions.” These purposely confrontational titles caused immediate discomfort. For Julius Eastman, they were a pungent socioeconomic statement on America. He described the significance of these titles at Northwestern University at the opening of his June 1980 performance. The Burchfield Penney program will include:

•Burchfield Rotunda - 5:30 PM – Performance - Buddha - Sotto Voce Vocal Collective

•Reception Space - 6:00 PM – Performance - Stay On It - Buffalo Chamber Players

•East Gallery - 6:30 PM – Performance - Buddha - Sotto Voce Vocal Collective

•East Gallery - 7 PM – Performance •Gay Guerilla - performed by Buffalo Chamber Ensemble and BuffFluxus

•Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium - 8 PM – Talk/Book Signing

•Renee Levine Packer, author of Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music 

•Performance: Crazy Nigger - performed and arranged by percussionist Amy Knoles

•Photographic and Score Exhibition - A collection of photos and posters by Christine Rusiak 

A brilliant singer, extraordinary pianist, politically aggressive gay African-American, Eastman was one of the more significant composers of the minimalist generation known for his challenging and complex scores. Born in Harlem Hospital in New York City, he trained as a pianist and choirboy while growing up in Ithaca, N.Y. After a year of piano study at Ithaca College, he was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1959.

In 1968 he moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where he was a member of the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts (A.K.A the Creative Associates), a SUNY Buffalo music fellowship founded in 1964 by Lukas Foss and Alan Sapp. Eastman was one of approximately 120 musicians that participated in Creative Associates until the program’s close in 1980.

While in Buffalo, Eastman performed and toured in works by many of the most prominentcontemporary composers in the nation, as well as performing his own pieces. Eastman also wrotecompositions for ensembles and/or instruments that he didn’t play. Making bold social statements through composition, he embodied the environment of Western New York’s vital experimental and multi-disciplinary art scene. 

His usage of provocative words and performances, notably his 1975 participation in a John Cage piece during the inaugural June in Buffalo Festival in which he made sexual comments about his male and female assistants on stage, was not only to rile audience members, but also make important comments on America’s conservative social and economic stance during an era of non-inclusion and bigotry that plagued the African American and LGBTQ communities.

“He was a composer of visionary power, a singer with a cavernous bass voice, a collaborator with the diverse likes of Meredith Monk and Pierre Boulez,” according to a recent New York Times article. 

“Once Julius Eastman left Buffalo for Manhattan in 1976, the tone of the titles of his pieces started to change, from The Moon’s Silent Modulation (1970) to If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich (1977), Evil Nigger(1979), etc.,” notes author/composer/performer Mary Jane Leach in The Julius Eastman Project. “Not only had Julius left the protective and nurturing environment of Buffalo, but in New York the divisions between the Uptown and Downtown music scene were more evident, and Julius was caught between both worlds. He had a foot in both camps.”  

“Julius Eastman was a lost Minimalist and a lost soul. He was a composer of blinding, brilliant talent who died in 1990 at age 49, homeless and forgotten, in Buffalo, N.Y.,” according to the Los Angeles Times.  “Eastman was a composer ahead of his time, which is what mainly led to his self-destructiveness and subsequent neglect. But attention is now being paid.” 

 

 

HERE!

Artists Ron Wofford, Celeste Tisdale, Ron Smith and the late

Bro. Simba MLee Featured in New Burchfield Penney Exhibition

PHOTO FROM THE EARLY 80'S BY SIMBA MLEE

PHOTO FROM THE EARLY 80'S BY SIMBA MLEE

by Renata Toney 

Here! is a Burchfield Penney Art Center rearview window to the living culture that shaped this region. It is one of the major exhibitions that celebrates The Center's 50th anniversary, a premiere conception through photographs, paintings, prints and sculpture selected to capture a glimpse of the complex culture of Western New York.

What has the Burchfield Penney learned about the regional culture from its collection? And from the collections of The Challenger, Ron Wofford, Celeste Tisdale, Ron Smith and others? How is the Buffalo community unique, and how did we develop that identity? What are the ideas through which people know us? These questions shape an exhibition forum that aspires to gain greater understanding of the base from which the community now moves forward. 

Here! looks at the cultural piece-parts that have represented our region, adds up what these elements have meant to our community and becomes a means through which we know and name ourselves. Ron Wofford was engaged in so many media when Buffalo needed him most and remains a catalyst for the constant rebirth of our city,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, Burchfield Penney executive director and co-curator of the show. “The artistry and leadership of Ed Smith in theater was central to the formation of the Buffalo Black Drama Workshop. The poetry of Celeste Tisdale graced the audiences of the Nia Writers Workshop. It is also a special blessing to feature works from The Challenger archive and the late Bro. Simba MLee in the installation. We hope to propose ways to identify our many cultures and reassert ways in which we as a community of good neighbors are joined and can grow together.”

The Here! project, on view through Sunday, February 19, 2017, seeks input from viewers, who are asked to submit copies of photographs or drawings they believe represent an aspect of the culture we create for ourselves in Western New York. Pictures with a brief explanation may be brought into The Center for installation as a part of the show. The copy pictures will not be returned, but may become a part of The Center's archival record of the exhibition.

“The Challenger has documented life in Buffalo for decades,” said Burchfield Penney Archivist Heather Gring who is working collaboratively with Challenger staff providing technical support to help preserve its photographic collection. “We appreciate their generous contribution to this exhibition.” 

 

Review

Holiday Art Action an Impressive Showcase of Local Talent!

ART FOR ARTISTS: Pictured (L-R) at the recent Holiday Art for Artists auction, Rubens Mukunzi,Jessica Thorpe, Glendora Johnson-Cooper. Dawn Martin-Berry-Walker, Betty Pitts-Foster and Jim Pappas

ART FOR ARTISTS: Pictured (L-R) at the recent Holiday Art for Artists auction, Rubens Mukunzi,Jessica Thorpe, Glendora Johnson-Cooper. Dawn Martin-Berry-Walker, Betty Pitts-Foster and Jim Pappas

The collection of art works up for bid at the 2016 Holiday Art for Artists auction  December 3 were beyond expectation!

In the spirit of Ujamaa, Kujichagulia,and Nia,  it was an unforgettable night ofart, commerce anda celebrationof history, heritage, memories and visual stories from some of Buffalos most celebrated Black artists for a purposeful cause. 

Upon entering the auction held at the Delaware Avenue Outside the Box office, bidders were greeted by positive energy and a wonderland ofart work to choose from. The room was filled with art lovers, supporters and artists mixing, mingling and discussing the plethora of vibrantworks like the oils and prints of William Y. Cooper,  colorful acrylics by Dawn Martin Berry-Walker,  mixed media on paper by Jim Pappas, romantic impressions in oilby Betty Pitts-Foster,  playful paintings by Karibu News publisher Rubens Mukunzi , warm brazilian soapstone sculpture by Dale Isaacs, captivating fine art photographs by George K. Arthur and thought provoking collage works and paintings by Jessica Thorpe. The show was tastefully presented with starting bids that affordably ranged from $150 to $3,000. The purpose of the event was to raise funds and make donations in support of the preservation of the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society as well as The Red Cross for the continued support and relief for those hit by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. and Haiti. Along with the bids, the contributions made by donors Yvonne Corley, Derrick Byrd, Brenda McDuffie, Mary Campbell and Sharon Holley (who also purchased work), Outside the Box was able to fulfill their mission tomake donations to both efforts. Those who attended the auction were also able to purchase the first printing of Colorations, a new coloring book of the art of the late William Y. Cooper in support of the cause. Outside the Box Chief Creative Officer Jessica Thorpe hopes to raise more awareness and interest in art, collecting and building family legacy through art and passing it down from generation to generation. Outside the Box will have their doors open to the public (free)  to view the exhibition of these worksnightly during Kwanza from 5pm - 7pm from Dec 28th thru Dec 31. They are located at 1272 Delaware (located in the cottage behind The Network of Religious Communities on Delaware). All are welcome. For more informationgo to www.unboxedink.com or call their office at 362-0230. -Leah Hamilton

2016 Holiday Art for Artists Celebrates Visual Art of William Y. Cooper, George K. Arthur Rubens Mukunzi, James Pappas, Betty Pitts-Foster

'The Music of Jazz' by  William Cooper

'The Music of Jazz' by  William Cooper

A group of local artists will auction their original work on Saturday, December 3to preserve local jazz legacy and continued Hurricane Matthew relief.

Host and organizer Jessica Thorpe hopes the event also will lead people to consider giving original art this Holiday Season as a way of building family legacy. "Original art not only has the capacity to change the energy around you, it inspires and appreciates from generation to generation,"  saidJessica. 

The eclectic offerings range from the vibrant, intricate oil canvases of the late muralist and educator William Y. Cooper, to the poignant black-and-white photography of George K. Arthur and impressionistic work of Betty Pitts-Foster, to paintings by Karibu News publisher Rubens Mukunzi and UB professor James Pappas, to bright pieces by Dawn Martin Berry-Walker,and mixed media by Thorpe. 

Partial proceeds from the sale of bidding seats and each painting will be donated to the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society, and to the American Red Cross and other not for profits supporting Hurricane Matthew recovery in the U.S. and Haiti.

Starting bids range from $400 for smaller works to $3,500 for some of Cooper's canvasses.  Purchases will be accepted by credit card or cash. 

VIP bidding seats are $35; general bidding seats are $25 and non-bidding seats are $15 and include light hors d'oeuvres.   Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com --  search "2016 Holiday Art for Artists Auction" -- or by contacting 716-445-5122 or emailing unboxedink@gmail.com

•2016 Holiday Art for Artists Preview: Saturday, November 26 , 12 - 6 p.m. & Sunday, 

November 27   1 - 7 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased during the 2016 Holiday Art for Artists preview-- on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27at 1272 Delaware Avenue.   Admission to the preview is free;  donations are welcomed.

Local Artist Receives International Exposure

Local artist LeRoi Johnson recently received international attention when his work adorned the cover of Art Tour International Magazine; a publication with over 2 million readers in 192 countries!

   LeRoi, an attorney and former manager of his brother Rick James’ career, was born in Buffalo into a family of eight siblings,. The successful attorney and award-winning artist creates abstract expressionistic paintings that combine impressionism, symbolism, and fauvism. Johnson works with intense colors and a striking variety of textures. He calls his art form, “electric primitive.”

        Artist LeRoi Johnson

        Artist LeRoi Johnson

A self-trained artist, he began painting at a very young age. He received his only formal art training at his high school art classes and later continued painting during his law school years, documenting his life during that period. His works have been shown in numerous international exhibitions in the United States, Africa, South America, and Europe for over a decade.

Working with acrylics and oils, Johnson boldly pioneered his new“electric primitive” art form. Strong African influences can be seen in the African tribal icons and symbolism in his paintings. His use of space and density creates welcoming pieces, portraying culture through nature. His upbringing, education, career (both in law and art), and his travels to Europe and South America have all been a great influence on his art.

Initially his work was mostly autobiographical and his personal life experiences were intricately woven into his work, as he successfully fused African themes and geometric abstracts. His work was also featured on the August 17 cover of Art Voice along with a two-page cover story. Congratulations LeRoi! To see more of his work go to www.artlaslow.com

Albright-Knox Unveils New Mural at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology

Buffalo, NY – Today July 14th  the Albright-Knox Art Gallery unveiled a new mural at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) as part of the AK Public Art Initiative. The mural, titled Dream Keepers, was completed by BCAT students with the guidance and assistance of New York–based artist Alice Mizrachi through the Public Art Public School Voices program.

Public Art Public School Voices is a collaborative educational program developed by the Albright-Knox and BCAT with support from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The curriculum teaches students the essential skills for conceptualizing, planning, and executing a community mural and incorporates lessons about the Harlem Renaissance to show the transformative power of art in communities.

Over the next five years, the AK Public Art Initiative’s mural program will leave an indelible mark on various communities throughout Western New York. These murals will ultimately increase vibrancy, livability, safety, and pride in Buffalo’s historic neighborhoods.

Albright-Knox Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén said, “The Public Art Initiative reflects our vision for a twenty-first century museum that plays an integral, active role in the social and economic life of our region.  Public art is out in the community, engaging Western New Yorkers—all Western New Yorkers—in a conversation about our shared environment.  Communities need art and culture in order to thrive, and a vibrant cultural landscape is the twenty-first century’s most potent magnet for attracting talent and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.  Our flourishing public art program signals Buffalo and Erie County’s continuing resurgence.”

Mizrachi is an artist and educator whose work explores the connection between individuals and community. Through figurative work, she aims to inspire both individual expression and a sense of shared humanity. Her work often engages local communities and reflects positive visual responses to social issues affecting neighborhood residents. Her process activates a shared space of love, hope, optimism, and healing as a means to connect with participants.

Mizrachi began working with Mayor Byron W. Brown’s Summer Youth Program on its first day at BCAT on July 5. Over the next three days she worked with the students to develop imagery for the mural, which evaluates and compares the Harlem Renaissance and Buffalo’s own ongoing revitalization. Once the design and imagery was completed, students assisted with the mural’s completion throughout the following week.

An open house will be held at BCAT (1221 Main Street) on July 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, with a ceremony being held at 6:30 pm.Other recent Public Art Initiative projects include Roberley Be

ll’s Locus Amoenus installation at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s mural Noodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installation We Share A Dream, currently on view at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport; Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and ReWilding New York (Community Seed Stations), a two-fold work that took place over the summer of 2015; Shayne Dark’s 2015 exhibition Natural Conditions and residency at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; Jaume Plensa’s Silent Poets, on view through October 2016 at Canalside; Casey Riordan Millard’s Shark Girl; Tape Art’s Buffalo Caverns, a massive, temporary mural made with low-adhesive drawing tape on the north wall of the Central Library branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; a billboard- and sticker-based iteration of Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful project, made possible in part through a partnership with Lamar Advertising; and Charles Clough’s collaboratively produced Hamburg Arena Painting, which is installed in the newly constructed wing of the Hamburg Public Library. The Public Art Initiative has also distributed 30,000 art kits to students throughout Erie County.

The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Announces New Mural at 74 Jewett Avenue  

Buffalo, NY – Today  July 14th the Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced a new mural to be completed by artist Daniel Galas (American, born 1982) at 74 Jewett Avenue as part of the AK Public Art Initiative. The location is home to Koch Metal Spinning, and the mural is made possible by Bank of America and Tri-Main Development LLC.

“Supporting cultural institutions that contribute to the vitality and livability of communities is a philanthropic focus of Bank of America,” said Kevin Murphy, Buffalo Market President at Bank of America. ”We are proud to partner with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in this effort to bring the community to life through art.”

Galas is a Buffalo-based artist primarily focused on creating artworks predicated on architecture in and around the Western New York region. Featuring a whimsical signature style, Galas creates images of recognizable yet distorted forms that populate our shared urban landscape.

For the mural, Galas has focused exclusively on the architecture within walking distance from his studio, located at the Buffalo Arts Studio in the Tri-Main Center, and adjacent to the mural site. The location presents a series of sections that the artist will use as a framing device, setting up a cadence that takes the viewer on a visual journey back and forth along Buffalo’s Main Street divide.

Galas has created a contemplative set of images that resonates with this location, establishing new associations between the sites depicted. The work will be produced entirely in black and gold. The color black relates to the artist’s established practice of printmaking and drawing. The gold is meant to elicit an intuitive response from the viewer that acknowledges the civic value of honoring our shared heritage.

Buildings represented in the mural will include the Elephant House at the Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.), Highland Lodge #835 / Central Presbyterian Church Community Center (2456 Main St.), St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church (401 Woodward Ave.), the Kensington Water Tower (667 Kensington Ave.), Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church (317 Leroy Ave.), the former Pierce-Arrow Showroom (2421 Main St.), Bennett High School and All-High Stadium (2885 Main St.), and the Darwin D. Martin House (125 Jewett Ave.).

Over the next five years, the AK Public Art Initiative’s mural program will leave an indelible mark on various communities throughout Western New York. These murals will ultimately increase vibrancy, livability, safety, and pride in Buffalo’s historic neighborhoods.

Other recent Public Art Initiative projects include Roberley Bell’s Locus Amoenus installation at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s mural Noodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installation We Share A Dream, currently on view at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport; Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and ReWilding New York (Community Seed Stations), a two-fold work that took place over the summer of 2015; Shayne Dark’s 2015 exhibition Natural Conditions and residency at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; Jaume Plensa’s Silent Poets, on view through October 2016 at Canalside; Casey Riordan Millard’s Shark Girl; Tape Art’s Buffalo Caverns, a massive, temporary mural made with low-adhesive drawing tape on the north wall of the Central Library branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; a billboard- and sticker-based iteration of Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful project, made possible in part through a partnership with Lamar Advertising; and Charles Clough’s collaboratively produced Hamburg Arena Painting, which is installed in the newly constructed wing of the Hamburg Public Library. The Public Art Initiative has also distributed 30,000 art kits to students throughout Erie County.

The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo. 

El Museo is happy to present a solo exhibition of new work by Tommy Nguyen. Previously as an MFA student at the University at Buffalo, Nguyen dazzled us with his larger-, wackier-, softer-than-life PLUSH series of installations and happenings, including a well-received thesis exhibition at Buffalo Arts Studio. Now living and working in New York City, he returns to bring us TURBOGRAFX 16, a surreal (or perhaps hyperreal) installation piece that will take over our gallery space for the month of July. Borrowing its name from the video game console released in 1989, Nguyen wants to take us back, away from our terminally broken present, from the madness of the 2000s, past the excesses and culture wars of the 90s, back to the beginning of the end of history….

“The world is melting and shaking, the forests are burning, there’s not enough water, and everyone is hungry, and it’s not just California this time; we’re all in this together. There’s too much music to listen to, too many family and friends to forget to call, too many countries we will never visit, too many things to like and hate. There is simply too much. But certainly, too much certainty.

“Maybe it’s time for a refresh. Maybe a reboot if things weren’t quite working right. Let’s all come back together, bring with us all the things that simply were bad, wrong, or stupid, and fix it or throw it all away. Well, not everything was terrible. The dancing was fun. And the singing, dranking, and eating. Let’s do it together this time. With fifty percent more Beyoncé and probably a hundred percent less genocide. Let’s live younger, stronger, faster, smarter, brighter, more colorful, odder, queerer, and less certainer.”

Born in California, raised by cartoons, Disney, Muppets, Pokémon, rap, rhythm and blues, ABBA, and the Beach Boys, Tommy Nguyen wants to color the world brightly and outside of its lines. He wants to shape and rebuild the imagination for utopias made for the weird, the absurd, the confused, the different and ultraviolet. Through installations and events, he is colliding all popular cultures to create a new alternative mythology that we can share and want to believe.

This show is his gratitude for Buffalo, the city where he was able to become an artist after academic pursuits in economics, law, history, and philosophy. This was where PLUSH was birthed; this is where he found the gift of art and found a community of the best people who supported him and knew how to drank.

Eleven Twenty Projects presents Tom Holt: Drawn & Quartered, a collection of new work based on the artist’s daily sketch practice. Selections include paintings and drawings, some of which are still intact in sketchbooks. These “visual diaries,” intended as studies and private sketches, are now revealed to the audience to share a deeper insight into the artist’s psyche and emotions.

The main characteristic of Holt’s daily drawing practice is one of proximity. Sketchbooks are to be viewed from an intimate distance, one on one, up close. As the artist says, the drawings are close enough to “whisper to a person.”  By its nature, Holt’s community-oriented large scale work is meant to be viewed from a distance. Looking closer, an inspection of his sketchbooks reveals an extended depth and personal perspective.  Holt feels this more personal tableaux allows him to share less filtered content. Contrived less overtly for the public, the sketchbook drawings are “for me.”

Holt’s sketchbook work is freer and looser than his other practices, however, his deep appreciation and respect for classical presentation, enables him to execute his drawings with precision.  The work is centered, balanced, tight.  He enjoys the juxtaposition of technical mastery with the jagged edges of ripped notebook paper and the occasional off-color subject matter.  Using delicate pencil drawings with light touches of watercolor, he examines the nuances of the human condition, zeroing in on the fears and insecurities shared by us all.

Holt’s work was described by Buffalo News critic Colin Dabkowski as “melancholic without being overbearing, beautiful without sacrificing its strangeness, and elevated by a hint of the juvenile or mischievous.[1]”  Holt frequently draws inspiration from cynical observation of America’s fleeting pop culture vernacular, and is not afraid to take a swipe or two at the inane.  He can look at the darker side of things, and challenge the status quo, but it is always delivered with a sense of class and humility, with a kindness that is informed by a “we are all in this together” approach.

In conjunction with Drawn & Quartered, Eleven Twenty Projects is also pleased to announce a new installation in the front window of the gallery.  For this exhibit, Tom Holt has created a new mural entitled Hemispheres.  Holt simply saw the walls as a blank sheet of sketchbook paper and envisioned the work as an unplanned, large-scale homage to his daily practice.  The mural is a monochromatic offering of bright red on a white background with no planned subject matter.  He mimicked the approach and feel of his sketchbooks, by working in his playful free-form style.  Launched in March of this year, “The Front” is a public exhibition space in the window of the gallery at 1120 Main Street.  Hemispheres will be on display through the end of August.

[1] Colin Dabkowski, "Graffiti graduate; Holt exhibit displays engaging artist with big imagination," Buffalo News, 08/17/2012

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Tom Holt is a painter, muralist, and installation artist born in Carmel, NY He received a BS in visual arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2002. Holt’s work ranges in scale from small pencil or ink drawings and mixed media paintings to wall-sized murals. He frequently draws from the visual languages of street art, advertising, cartoons, comic books, anime, and the video game and skateboard culture of his youth. His work has been exhibited at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Castellani Art Museum and Buffalo Arts Studio, and his mural work can be seen on many buildings throughout Buffalo. His work is included in the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and numerous private collections.

Artist website

Cultural Immersions Exhibit of William Y. Cooper Art 

Opens May 23 at Betty’s Restaurant

Cultural Immersions, a posthumous exhibit of paintings by Buffalo-based artist William Y. Cooper, opens Monday, May 23 at Betty’s Restaurant, 370 Virginia Street,. with an opening reception and cash bar from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  Cultural Immersions will run through Sunday, July 17. 

“This exhibition was arranged before Bill’s unexpected passing in February. It will continue to celebrate his life as an accomplished painter of cultural events and culturally significant people. His strong colorful paintings sing out forcefully yet joyously in his unique personal style,” Betty’s Restaurant curator Kathleen Sherin said.

For more information about the Cultural Immersions exhibit call 716.362.0633 or visit www.bettysbuffalo.com

On Thursday, May 26, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will open a new exhibition, Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford, featuring the work of celebrated American artists Mark Bradford (born 1961) and Clyfford Still (1904–1980).

For the exhibition, Bradford will help select and install more than twenty paintings from the Albright-Knox's important collection of works by Clyfford Still. In adjacent galleries, Bradford will present a group of his own paintings—created specifically for this exhibition—that manifest an ongoing conversation both with Still’s abstractions and the broader legacy of Abstract Expressionism.

Bradford has long been fascinated by Still’s extensive use of black as a signature component of his abstract imagery and the many statements he made about the color. Still famously asserted that his own dramatic canvases, which he once called “black suns,” could even be hung in darkness because “they will carry their own fire.” “Black,” he proclaimed, “was never a color of death or terror for me. I think of it as warm—and generative. But color is what you choose to make it.” Such affirmative references to blackness were unparalleled in a 1950s America riven by the early rumblings of the Civil Rights movement and the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. As an African American abstract painter, Bradford chooses to read Still’s relationship with black as an open-minded invitation to dialogue.

Bradford's new paintings continue his own exploration of abstraction’s power to address social and political concerns. Bradford has recently stated, “I think there are other ways of looking through abstraction. To use the whole social fabric of our society as a point of departure for abstraction reanimates it, dusts it off. I just find that chilling and amazing.” In this, Bradford finds Still a powerful inspiration.

The exhibition’s title is deliberately open to interpretation. Shade is an area of relative darkness; it is a zone obscured from the light or, in color theory, the mixture of a hue with black to reduce lightness. To “put someone in the shade” is to make his or her achievements seem comparatively insignificant, while to “throw shade,” an expression first deployed in the LGBTQ community, is to indirectly and artfully criticize. In parts of the United States prior to the 1960s, “shade” was also derogatory slang for an African American. As Albright-Knox Senior Curator Cathleen Chaffee, who organized the exhibition, describes it:

“'Shade' suggests the power of intergenerational dialogue to cast a canonical moment in American art history in a different light. Mark Bradford is reading Abstract Expressionism against the grain in order to enrich his practice and, profoundly, to color our own view of abstraction.” 

Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford will be accompanied by a robust education program and a fully illustrated catalogue including an essay by Chaffee and a dialogue between Mark Bradford and Michael Auping, Chief Curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and former Chief Curator of the Albright-Knox. Bradford will offer a public lecture in the city of Buffalo in the week before the exhibition opening, and he will be in conversation with Chaffee at the Albright-Knox during the exhibition’s free public opening at 7:15 pm on May 25, 2016.

The First Niagara Foundation is proud to serve as the official Education Sponsor of this exhibition. Their sponsorship will underwrite free admission to the exhibition for all K-12 students in Erie County during the months of July and August and a special program that welcomes Mark Bradford to the classrooms of the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts (PS192) in May. This exhibition has been made possible in part through the generosity of Hauser & Wirth, Inc. and Amy and Harris Schwalb.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 
Clyfford Still (American, 1904-1980)
 achieved national and international recognition following successful exhibitions in San Francisco and New York in the 1940s, and, along with peers such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, he was a central figure in midcentury American painting. In an effort to maintain control over his work, Still largely retreated from the art world and settled in rural Maryland in 1961. Still’s daring use of color set in expansive fields solidified his place as a leading figure in both Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting.

In 1959, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (then the Albright Art Gallery) presented the first large-scale survey exhibition of Clyfford Still’s career; it included seventy-two paintings dating from 1936 to 1957. In 1964, Still gave the museum thirty-one paintings. This donation joined two works already in the museum’s collection, bringing the number of his works in Buffalo to thirty-three. Today, the Albright-Knox is the largest repository of the artist’s work outside the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver.

Mark Bradford (American, born 1961) is one of his generation’s most celebrated artists. His abstractions are often crafted from layered paper and other commonplace materials that reference the diverse Southern California neighborhood in which he lives. Bradford has received numerous awards and honors, including the U.S. State Department’s Medal of Arts (2015), the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant” (2009), and the Bucksbaum Award, granted by the Whitney Museum of American Art (2006). In 2015, Bradford cofounded Art + Practice, an arts and education foundation based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.

Bradford’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; and the Studio Museum in Harlem. His work is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Bradford lives and works in Los Angeles. 

 

A Conversation In Conflict : Documentary Images By Marten Czamanske & Courtney Grim  

On View at El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, 91 Allen Street , Buffalo  N.Y. 

                                                            LITTLE BOY AT WINDOW

                                                            LITTLE BOY AT WINDOW

                                                             HOUSE IN THE TREE'S 

                                                             HOUSE IN THE TREE'S 

In 2013, photographer Marten Czamanske and educator/video artist Courtney Grim were invited to accompany and document a humanitarian mission to Haiti. It was to deliver school supplies collected in Buffalo to Haitian children affected by the 2010 earthquake and aftermath.

During their trip, the group found themselves under constant escort by armed guards, herded through various photo ops against a backdrop of devastation and destitution. The nearly 17,000 collected items were conspicuously absent. Had they been any help at all?

On view: May 3-28, 2016
Opening reception and Artist talk was on Friday, May 6 at 7pm
Extra Credit: Saturday, May 21 at 2pm

About the Artists

Courtney Grim
Courtney Grim incorporates landscape into her artwork through media such as photography, digital imaging, film and video, site-specific installation, and non-traditional paintings. Her work has been screened, installed, and exhibited in Canada and throughout the United States, addressing themes ranging from surveillance and privacy to environmental issues, historical preservation, consumerism, and social commentary.

Born in Washington, D.C., Courtney Grim received her MFA in 1996 from the College of Imaging Arts and Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, and has lived and worked in Western New York since 1993. She is the recipient of Business First’s Forty Under 40 award (2001) for community service in the arts; the Burchfield-Penney Art Center’s, Emerging Artists Award (2000), several professional development grants from Medaille College (2006-2012), Faculty Fellowship with WNYSLC in 2009, and an Individual Artists Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Marten Czamanske
Marten (Marty) Czamanske received his MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1996. For many years he was a respected freelance photographer in Rochester and a photography instructor at RIT. His past clients include Eastman Kodak, Constellation Brands, Corning, The Strong, and Xerox. Notably, he collaborated with Sam Campanaro on “15 Babies,” the Kodak Colorama photo that went on to become the most popular in the program’s 40-year run. From 1999 until 2003 he ran William Marten Gallery, a contemporary photography gallery in Rochester, NY. Czamanske now lives and works in Buffalo, NY.