Artvoice caught up with Michele Ragusa shortly after she completed a triumphant run as the title character in Hello Dolly! at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida. From Broadway, to Florida, to Kleinhans, the Western New York native and Niagara University graduate works all the time.
Play by Irene O’Garden at O’Connell & Company
The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival is merely ten years old and has already emerged as one of the region’s signature cultural events, attracting hundreds of directors, actors, producers, and writers from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and far-flung corners of the world.
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free,” said novelist Ralph Ellison. Would you consider making that a paramount theme in the coming weeks?
Yet Another Way to Tell If You’re DUI: Maryann Christy, 54, was arrested in Roselle, Illinois, in January when police spotted her driving through town with a 15-foot-tall tree firmly lodged in the grille of her car, sticking straight up. She was apparently too intoxicated to recall where she “acquired” the tree or how many minutes earlier that was.
With two solid weeks of spring weather, it seems that winter will not relinquish its icy grip on Buffalo. While it is easy to lament the return of the cold temperatures and grumble about digging the snowbrushes out from the depths of our basements, there is also reason to celebrate
ne of the works in the current Nina Freudenheim Gallery show of photographs by George Woodman is called Hymn to Classicism. It consists of collage-effect vertical strips of various Greek or Roman classical or classical revival sculptures, and one–one vertical strip–salon academic classicism painting.
But most of the works in the show could be called hymns to Classicism, which they reference in various ways. Often by incorporating images of classical sculpture–often signature classical manner nude figural sculpture–or classical architectural elements, a Corinthian order capital, other architectural fragments. Sometimes by including a nude–or partially nude–model in conjunction with the nude sculptural figures. Or sometimes just the nude or partially nude same model. Or sometimes the model in street dress. Or sometimes another model appearing only in street dress, but often in photos or collage with the sometimes nude or partially nude model.
All as classical reference, the play with the nudity idea. One of the classical statues that shows up in a couple of the works is the modesty Venus, nude but as if caught by surprise in that state, gesturing to hide her nudity, top and bottom.
These are large-format photographs of mixed primary and secondary photos–the immediate photo, the photo of the moment, incorporating other photos–layered and juxtaposed so that sometimes it’s hard to tell what imagery is primary and what is secondary.
And very Italian. The number and variety of classical statues is evocative of an Italian art gallery, plus the titles of several works that include sculptural images specify actual Italian galleries, such as the Museo Nazionale del Bargello and the Galleria Romanelli, both in Florence.
One of the Woodman photos is called Shrine for a Saint. It features a carpentered sort of desk organizer or wall rack with several receptacle boxes and several prints of the same portrait photo of a woman who could be any Italian woman from the second half of the nineteenth century or first half of the twentieth, and another photo of another woman, turned slightly oblique–the photo not the woman–from the plane of the primary photo, so obscured in that way. And not clear what the relation–if any–to the woman in the multiple photos.
Another photo called La Principessa Cowboy Florentina is of the sometimes nude or partially nude model, nude in this case except for a near-miss version of a cowboy hat, straight out of a spaghetti western.
The only explicitly non-Italian-reference work is called Girl in Kimono. Actually two kimonos, or almost. Putting on a black kimono over a white one. Or maybe taking off the black one. All a bit puzzling. She’s also missing her head–or rather, we’re missing her head–which is cut off at the top of the picture.
Woodman is an artist in various media, first and foremost painting, then photography. In addition, he has a major work on permanent display in Buffalo–in the Delavan-Canisius subway station–in the medium of painted tiles. Inspired by Moorish medieval tile work in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
In an artist’s statement, Woodman talks about his usual work process and usual work. “Most days for the past sixty years,” he says, “I have gone into my studio and made the art that I long for. This has been a painter’s practice…Today I make photographs in much the same way…Pictures come into mind, are reflected upon, often changed, surrendered to and eventually realized…These photographs push themselves into my world. I am usually happy to see them, but sometimes saddened or perplexed. Photography is like painting, but completely different…”
The George Woodman exhibit continues until May 11.
28 years ago to the day, Buffalo unveiled its new downtown ballpark, then named Pilot Field, to rave reviews not only locally, but across the nation and the baseball world. Buffalo was high on the list for Major League Baseball expansion, the new stadium set the bar for design and amenities seen nowhere in the minor leagues, and the city celebrated with a parade, and all the pomp and ceremony befitting such an event.
According to informed sources in the Buffalo development community, Mark Hamister is about $6 million short of the mark in financing for his much-hyped $35.7 million Niagara Falls hotel project on Rainbow Blvd. that was trumpeted by state and local officials more than three years ago as the city’s best hope to revive downtown.
rie Community College has filed a formal response to the Jan. 14 audit report by the state comptroller that detailed a “lax control environment” established by the board of trustees that allowed college management to assume board responsibilities and make key financial decisions with little or no board oversight.
Koresh is a dance company that is literally at the forefront of contemporary modern dance,” said Jon Lehrer. As a dancer/choreographer and the founder of Buffalo’s talented, globe trotting Lehrer Dance Company, Jon knows what he’s talking about.