By EILEEN BUCKLEY & JONNY MORAN
With in-person events still tricky to hold during the pandemic, Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT) and Buffalo Toronto Public Media have teamed up to present a virtual art show throughout the summer. This show has a special mission of healing and support.
The idea first came to BCAT as the COVID-19 crisis hit the region and data showed significant increases in depression, anxiety, anger and sadly, suicide rates among youth. In response to local and national demonstrations advocating for racial equality, BCAT felt an even greater urgency to mobilize its purpose to support urban youth.
“There hasn’t been a greater need or time for us to move our mission into the community and provide inspiration for our youth in our community during these troubling times,” shared Gina Burkhardt, president and CEO of BCAT.
Over 70 individuals, more than half of whom had never donated to BCAT before, underwrote 100 art kits that were delivered to high school age students living in the city of Buffalo. Some of the participating youth live in the worse hit zip codes, both from COVID-19 and the peaceful and sometimes violent unrest.
It promotes awareness about Project Mona’s House, which is a transitional residence for women who have escaped trafficking and are trying to rebuild their lives. It is the only such facility in Western New York. However, “Typography of Women” is also meant to be a vehicle that shares information on the ways that the community can do their part to deter human trafficking in our region.
Buffalo Toronto Public Media is conveniently located in downtown Buffalo at 140 Lower Terrace, near the I-190. Access to our free parking lot is on Charles Street (also known as "Mark Russel Alley").
With a brand new year comes new resolutions for a healthier lifestyle. Hide the bread, throw out the cookies, and dust-off the basement treadmill. This new artwork series by Joe Guy Allard is an ode to the junk foods that he leaves in his wake on the way to healthier days. They may be gone, but the quiet victims of New Year’s Resolutions will never be forgotten.
Joe Guy says that taking this new fork in the road means leaving behind some old friends, but every time he forces down a mouthful of kale or sips from a tall glass of unsweetened lemon-infused spring water, he’s thinking upon his time with them fondly.
During this time of year, it is important to be mindful of those that are less fortunate, those that are suffering, and those that may not feel loved or cared for. We remind ourselves that it is important to always be kind, tolerant, compassionate and open to love and happiness in all forms, and that we can express all of this through art. This exhibition celebrates all that is good about humanity and the world that we share and brings notice to those things we hope to change.
Carson Waterman’s artwork is a deep reflection of his Seneca heritage. He grew up in the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation, and after graduating from Gowanda High School, he served in the Vietnam Conflict. He studied art at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland and then became an instructor at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He now operates a studio in Salamanca and was invited to show his artwork in Horizons for Native American Heritage Month and Veterans Day.
Carson is also the subject of a digital video commissioned by WNED PBS as part of “The Warrior Tradition” project. (For more information about that project visit pbs.org/warriortradition.)
Annie Mandart is a 20-something self-taught modern quilter who has been dabbling in the arts since she was a kid. She started quilting in the fall of 2017 and hasn't looked back since. In her debut show entitled " The Honey Bees at Ma's House", Mandart shares pieces inspired by the women who came before her.
Using the sewing skills her mom taught her in middle school, she incorporates traditional fabrics into patterns old, new, and original to honor the women who have shaped the field of textile arts for years. Mandart's style focuses on bright color, busy layouts, and geometric shapes to create functional art to be used in the everyday home. Quilts, totes, and other items for sale at the show. Custom pieces available by special order.
Buffalo Toronto Public Media’s “Making Buffalo Home” partnered with University at Buffalo’s Director of Journalism, Jody Biehl, and her photojournalism exhibit, “Finding Refuge in Buffalo.” The exhibit featured essays written from extensive interviews by Biehl and images by internationally recognized photographer Brendan Bannon to celebrate Buffalo’s rich history of immigration.
April is national Autism Awareness month and once again our WNED | WBFO Horizon Gallery is home to artwork from Artists of Autism. The show ran from April 3 to April 25, 2019 in Horizons Gallery at WNED PBS studios
Horizons Gallery featured Fritz Proctor. The exhibition showcased a journey through memory.
“The best way to look at my paintings is to look at them through a lens in which vague memories exist,” said Proctor. “My paintings are investigations of memory through the marriage of abstraction and representation.”
Much like filling in the blank, the absent details of Proctor’s paintings allows the viewer to fill in the vague moments that pepper our memories.
“Ambiguity occurs in my paintings because I’m working in a nostalgic state of mind,” said Proctor. “I am not interested in precise visual portrayal of specific moments in life, but rather portraying the feeling of memory.”
This exhibition seeks to make the viewer think deeper about the concept of memory.
“Memory is more than just the ability to recall certain events or trivial facts,” said Proctor. “But rather an examination of one’s life.”
The Peace Project celebrates all that is good about humanity and the world while shining a light on those things that need to change.
Buffalo Public School students from across the district submitted artworks that represented their visions for love, compassion, kindness and understanding. The Peace Project is greater than the artwork itself. The art is the vehicle to a positive and encouraging message.
“During this time of year, it is important to be mindful of those who are less fortunate, those who are suffering, and those who may not feel loved or cared for,” said BPS Supervisor of Art Education Michele Agosto. “It’s a time to remind ourselves that it is important to always be kind, tolerant, compassionate, and open to love and happiness in all forms, and that we can express all of this through art.”
The Peace Project is intended to inspire peace through the visual arts. All works are created by BPS students and from children of BPS staff.
WNED PBS’s Horizons Gallery featured painter Todd S. Plough and photographer Darlene Allen. The two artists have decorated the gallery with their works that both come from different places within the artists.
“I was inspired by Claude Monet and how he used colors,” said Plough. Plough’s interest in nocturne paintings was also an inspiration in his work. Monet had a quote in which he said ‘I’ve always like nocturnes, but I couldn’t find the colors.’ So I said, I’ll show you!”
Allen’s photographs are inspired by her background in healing arts and her ability to find peacefulness.
“It’s a moment in meditation,” said Allen. “When I’m taking photographs, it’s ‘my time’. And it’s as if everything is standing still.”
Many of Plough’s paintings have been crowned with antique frames in which both Plough and Allen admit that the frames are as much as a story as the paintings themselves.
As the frames and art have their stories, this exhibition will be a chance for the viewer to create their own.
“When you look at art, it should be a private moment,” said Plough. “Just the viewer gets to be there. It’s just you and no one else.”
While the show will be a chance for the viewer to create their own experience, the art itself will have come from the artists’ experience.
“These are our memories,” said Allen. “We created these moments from the time that we’ve spent together. Now we are sharing them.”
WNED PBS’s Horizons Gallery featured The Itinerant Printer. Christopher Fritton, poet, printer, and artist showcased his brand new project, “The Itinerant Printer Book”.
"When reading about the history of letterpress printing, I'd occasionally come across references to 'tramp printers' or what many in the vocation simply called 'travellers'. I investigated further and discovered there was a whole subculture of itinerant printers – nomadic typesetters, linotype operators, and more," Fritton noted. "They were card-carrying members the International Typographical Union, and this allowed them to travel across the U.S. and Canada picking up work anywhere it was available. I was enamoured by the romantic notion of travelling the world printing, so I did everything I could to reinvent the concept of itinerant printing for modern times."
Fritton visited letterpress print shops across America through 2015-2017, producing unique prints at each venue selected from their distinctive collections of wood type, metal type, cuts, ornaments, and polymer plates. The exhibition featured posters and prints that were made during Fritton’s travels.
This entire project that has culminated into a coffee table book features photos of all of the prints, printshops, and the people from the adventure. It also takes a modern approach to the long tradition of itinerant printer tales. Fritton describes it as “part travel diary, part cultural anthropology, part philosophical musing, and part poetic digression.”
“This book is written from memory, and accordingly, it is a fiction,” said Fritton. “I wanted to tell a story, not recite a list of facts or provide an encyclopedic overview.”
WNED PBS’s Horizons Gallery featured Hope Studio Artists from July 2 through July 29. Sally Treanor, a watercolor instructor at Hope Studio, coordinated the art installation with a wide range of artists.
“Our approach is workshop style,” said Treanor. “It is a project-orientated class in which we all work on a same problem. I have 15 to 20 people painting with me every week at all different levels of experience.”
The collection of art for this exhibition will be an homage to Garden Walk Buffalo.
“We want to help with the celebration of flowers and gardens,” said Treanor. “A majority of the pictures will be floral-themed.”
The painters work in the aquarelle tradition, that is they use watercolors in a traditional transparent manner, with no white or black pigments, depending on the white of the paper for whites in the painting and blacks the result of mixing pigments together. The Hope Studio painters use a triad + one discipline of selecting pigments in each painting (one red, one blue, one yellow, plus one other pigment to achieve emphasis or darker value) as basis of color harmony. The triads change according to the subject.
Participants in this exhibit are: Barbara Billittier, Karen Carbonara, Diane Gianadda, Carol Kellogg, Mary Jo Ketchum, Carol Koziol Clark, Joan Kubiniec, Sandy Ludwig, Susan Markel, Pat McCain, Marcia Nagel, Dawn Northwood, Pamela Pollock, Audrey Ross Sanders, Linda Scarafia-Davis, Ann Sessions, Carol Case Siracuse, Catherine Skerker,Elizabeth Stanton and Sally Treanor.
The exhibition on display through June 21, 2018 included 30 original watercolor paintings by National Watercolor Society award-winning artist Fritz Raiser that represent “colors from my gypsy soul.” Raiser’s paintings fall under the genre of transparent watercolor. Although the colors white and black are seen in the paintings, Raiser does not use them deliberately. Through merging colors together, he is able to produce them.
“The colors I use are very bright,” said Raiser. “When these colors merge and blend, you get this beautiful watercolor that is both bright and clean.”
Raiser, an Elma native, has won over 70 awards for his work along with multiple awards at the Adirondacks National Exhibition of Watercolors. He has demonstrated his techniques at Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society, Hamburg Art Society, Williamsville Art Society, Lancaster Art Society, Alden Art Society, East Aurora Art Society and Kenmore Art Society. His paintings are in private collections in the United States, Canada and England.
“Veterans as Artists: Transitions,” was an exhibition of Veterans’ Art in the Horizons Gallery. Curated by Jackie Albarella, co-founder of Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative, the show featured over 20 works from Western New York veterans and active service members. This work, by accomplished artists and beginning artists, demonstrated how these veterans use art as a manner of expressing complex feelings. Fear, hope, and joy all have a place in these works, which are all connected through their experience of serving our country.
“The quality of the art work showcased in this exhibit is truly remarkable,” said Albarella. “The artists are united by their service to our country, and their creations are incredibly diverse.”
The Artists/Veterans Art Collaborative was started in 2010 by Jackie Albarella and Dan Frontera. Two neighborhood friends, Jackie, an artist, and Dan, an Iraq War veteran, decided to use their personal experiences to help returning Vets cope with the tensions of coming home after deployment. With the help of Jim Becker, a VA therapist, the group was founded. The program has served over 500 men and women whose war experience spans Vietnam to the current conflict.
Jackie Albarella is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, artist and author. Her photography has been exhibited throughout the country with one-woman exhibits including The Burchfield Penney Art Center. She is the author of three books. Her most recent, The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune’s Masterpiece, follows with photographs and interviews, the restoration of architect Louise Bethune’s masterpiece, and the companion film aired on WNED PBS, Buffalo/Niagara.
April is national Autism Awareness month and once again our Buffalo Toronto Public Media Horizons Gallery is home to artwork from Artists of Autism. This year's theme is "Throwback" featuring a selection of work remembering things past.