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Buffalo on the Bowery: Manhattan Benefit Auction for PUSH Buffalo and Hallwalls

Donated work by George Afedzi Hughes.

Away Game

Christy Rupp gave me a ride back home one fall day in the late 1970s, after a Doc Watson Concert at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where we were both attending grad school. Now I’m writing about her as one of a considerable handful of Buffalo attenuated artists whose works have been chosen by curator and Buffalo-based artist Julian Montague for a benefit auction at the Charles Bank Gallery in Soho on behalf of PUSH Buffalo and Hallwalls.

During these maddeningly uncertain times of economic and social upheaval draping a kind of metaphoric wet blanket across the worldwide art auction market, Buffalo’s plucky artists (again metaphorically) are filing aboard the team bus headed for the Big Apple and—for the one or two that might break into that doubtful panoply of stars—the “big time.” More to the point, PUSH Buffalo and Hallwalls combining forces may create literally a “push” into the New York gallery market for Western New York artists.

Sixty-eight artists with local ties have donated work to the auction, including Rupp, Gregory Halpern, Amanda Besl, A. J. Fries, Megan Greene, Amy Greenan, George Afedzi Hughes, Julian Montague, Reed Anderson, and Jacob Kassay, a born-and-bred Buffalonian who was featured in The New Yorker last week as an example of the up-and-comer struck by art world lightning and made into a sensation.

Hallwalls continues to create challenging exhibitions serving as both a sounding- and springboard for artists from across the global spectrum of contemporary arts. PUSH Buffalo is a vital and growing presence in the city directly addressing housing conditions on the West Side and striving to create a replicable model of grassroots neighborhood organizing and redevelopment. Proceeds of the auction will help support these two essential Buffalo institutions. The event occurs at a time when socio-cultural public funding continues to be cut severely at all levels of government.

Buffalo on the Bowery takes place Tuesday, October 11, at Charles Bank Gallery (196 Bowery Street), and is free. Silent auction begins at 6pm, live auction at 8pm.

—j. tim raymond

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