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All's Fair at the Terminal on Saturday
by Jill Greenberg
echo: Art Fair aims to bring together artists and potential art collectors at the Central Terminal
In recent years, the Buffalo Central Terminal located at 495 Paderewski Drive in Buffalo’s East Side has been a bustling venue. The Terminal has hosted the Hallwalls Artists & Model’s Affair, Dyngus Day celebrations, Deco-Fest, an episode of Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, a Spencer Tunick installation, and much more.
This Saturday, July 9, 9:30am-5:30pm the Terminal will be add another innovative, community-strengthening, crowd-pleasing event, the first annual echo: Art Fair.
The Buffalo Expat Network, the Emerging Leaders in the Arts (ELAB), and HandsOn Greater Buffalo have come together with a mission to connect budding and experienced collectors with emerging local, regional, and international artists. A broad scope of fine art disciplines will be showcased, including painting, photography, sculpture, print, works on paper, video, and combined media. The fair is free and open to all. The art collector who just can’t wait to snag some new additions for their collection or for the browser who is craving a sneak peek can attend the echo: Art Fair VIP Cocktail Preview on Friday, July 8 from 6-8pm.
Frits Abell, founder of the Buffalo Expat Network and the creator of the fair, seems to have lofty goals. He aims to strengthen the connection between Buffalonians and Buffalo expats, encourage Buffalonians to start their own fine art collections (similar to that of juror Gerald Mead, the local art collector whose collection’s highlights are on display at the Castellani Art Museum’s Public/Private exhibition), and to create a high-profile art event to garner exposure for artists in the region.
Abell explains that he is “increasingly engaged with creating events to interest Buffalo expats” and to him, a fine arts fair fits that bill perfectly.
“I felt there needed to be an event that is solely focused on fine art,” he says. “Fine art fairs are springing up around the globe, from Miami to Hong Kong, and I thought it was time for Buffalo to have its own version.”
In one fell swoop, echo: Art Fair will help Abell accomplish those goals and hopefully inspire other Buffalonians to do the same. As one of the lead coordinators of the fair, the president of ELAB, owner of 464 Art Gallery, and a working photographer, Marcus Wise is entrenched in the Buffalo arts community. Wise knows a thing or two about the rich cultural scene that is part of Buffalo’s identity. The organizers of echo: Art Fair are not claiming that there is a lack in the Buffalo arts community, but rather an event like this will, according to Wise, “add another layer of depth to the wealth of arts events and organizations that are currently already a boon to Buffalo’s cultural scene.”
In order to ensure a high level of quality, the fair’s organizers chose visible members of the arts community as jurors. Out of 105 submissions, the jury (which includes Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Louis Grachos, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center’s John Massier, the Burchfield Penney’s Ted Pietrzak, Buffalo Arts Studio and Olean Public Library Visual Arts Program curator Cori Wolff, and more) selected 40 of the best artists and six galleries. Local emerging artists such as painter Amy Greenan, photographer David Torke, painter and designer Julian Montague, and photographer Brendan Bannon will be featured alongside artists from established galleries such as the Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Meibohm Fine Arts, and Exhibit A, as well as Buffalo expat artists such as Las Vegas photographer Diane Bush, Ithaca painter Barbara Mink, and New York City painter Melora Griffis.
In addition to the multitude of fine arts on display, New York City-based artist and Buffalo expat Christen Clifford and the Fashion Maniac team will participate with site-specific installations alongside 464 Gallery artists Chuck Tingley, Rich Tomasello, and Tara Sasiadek, who will be creating live paintings to be raffled to benefit the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
Christen Clifford’s installation, Buffalo vs. Detroit: Opportunity City Deathmatch, is a large-scale knitting project created with the help of local volunteers. The finished creation will be a 167-foot knitted strip to be hung on the Terminal. Clifford seeks to represent the 16,719 abandoned houses in Buffalo as well as the perception of rust belt cities such as Buffalo and Detroit. Clifford is excited by the prospect of using the Buffalo Central Terminal as the location for this installation and the fair as a way to bring attention to the Terminal space and the ideas for it’s revitalization. Clifford, who has worked with experimental theater, explores the relation between craft as high art (such as the recent trend of yarn-bombing) and 1970s feminist performance and body art (Clifford cites Carolee Schneemann as an influence.) “To bring [craft] to the Terminal and a contemporary art fair, which is considered as high art, is where this artwork belongs,” Clifford says. “To put yarn on this phallic building is a mixture of architecture and craft and masculine and feminine.”
464 Gallery artist and ELAB member Tara Sasiadek views the fair as an example of where the Buffalo arts community is heading in the future, forming an even more tight-knit web of support between emerging artists and established galleries and cultural groups. Sasiadek says, “Is there anything better than having a week full of vibrant openings, concerts, and events to choose from? Looking ahead I see a Buffalo that has become one long festival, which knowing us, will consist of delicious food and incredible art.”
“I would like to see echo: Art Fair become a powerhouse regional art event, and serve as a catalyst for the city, much like Art Basel has done for Miami,” Abell says. “We have learned a lot this year, and I expect echo: Art Fair 2012 to be even stronger.”
The dreams of the echo: Art Fair organizers seem to be coming true; the second annual echo: Art Fair has already been scheduled for July 14, 2012.
To keep the energy going, the After echo: Dance Party, also held in the Terminal, will begin after the fair at 6pm. For $7 visitors will enjoy live music by Alex Kelly, the Albrights, Free Henry!, DJ Cutler, and AVDJ PROJEX and video art by Jax Deluca and Brian Milbrand. Revelers can fuel their dancing with Lloyd’s Taco and The Whole Hog food trucks and beer provided by Try-It Distributing.
Read full interviews with artists and organizers involved with echo: Art Fair at blogs.artvoice.com/stillbuffalo/.blog comments powered by Disqus
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