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Artists & Models: Showoffs

work by Lukia Costello

Hallwalls fundraising extravaganza at the Pierce Arrow Building on Saturday

The title of the Artists & Models extravaganza this year is “Showoffs.” So what are the artists going to show off? Lots of music and dance and like entertainments onstage and off. Audience-interactive installations based on painting, sculpture, photography, and video. At one point in the evening, a giant unicorn piñata bust, and a midnight balloon drop. And the motif of one of the installations is, uh, mammaries, boobs. Another installation involves a Xerox machine, and audience volunteers will be invited to Xerox whatever body part they choose. You say that’s been done before. Yes, but as art? The mayhem fundraiser for Hallwalls will be held Saturday, September 29, 9pm-2am, at the Pierce Arrow Building (1685 Elmwood at Great Arrow Drive), a few blocks north of Buffalo State College.

Stage acts include an opening set by DJ Alex Spaulding; a modern dance work choreographed and performed by Melanie Aceto, called Delve, on ideas about exit from and yen to re-enter a kind of womb condition; Brian Milbrand as Sigmund the Magician; a live band performance with karaoke; contemporary scene poetry/commentary by Josh Smith; the unicorn piñata demolition, the piñata courtesy of Bethany Krull; Jack Topht’s rap act with music and dance; the balloon drop and sequel, with balloons of the long, slender variety the audience will be instructed and encouraged to construct into a gargantuan animal of uncertain species, a work all in all by Alice Alexandrescu, Kyle Butler, and Shasti O’Leary-Soudant; and music and conga line procession by the 12/8 Path Band.

illustration by Betsy Frazer

Another Melanie Aceto dance piece, called Morphics, with other dancers, will take place throughout the evening throughout the event space. In slow motion, the dancers will morph and remorph into a series of human sculptures evincing various attitudes and emotions.

The boobs piece is by Sara Zak. A copy of French classicist painter Dominique Ingres’s famous Odalisque will get painted over via a paint application system activated by manipulating—audience volunteers will be required—an array of fake boobs on a wall.

The Xerox work is the inspiration of Nelson Bradley. The piece is called Office Party. Audience participants will have an opportunity to enter the office “Copy Room,” one at a time, lock the door behind them, and proceed with their Xeroxing. The resultant photocopies will be posted on the main office space walls for the evening.

Live painting will occur, by painters Phil Durgan and Joel Coon, and photography with props by Lukia Costello and Nancy Parisi. Sculptures will include an enormous globe form with teeth by Jack Cassel and an enormous globe form with reference to myth legend and environmental insults to the globe we live on, by Kara Daving and Ani Hoover. A sort of sculptural work-in-the-making will be Adam Frank’s millipede-like extensive chain of white nylon cable ties.

Video will be featured in a piece on a UFO theme by J. Garrett Vorreuter and Rachel Stover, and Jason and Debora Bernagozzi’s piece comprising multiple layers of analog and digital audio and visual magic.

Jamie O’Neil and his alter ego Kurt Weibers will unveil Electroskip, an electronic version of the Skippisox product succès de scandale of the art biennial a few years back. Electroskip provides a computer-generated personal profile of each skipper’s skipping, and translates this into electronic music for other skippers to skip or dance or otherwise react to. With electronics assistance on this project from Bill Sack.

James Andrix and his team at Buffalo Lab will demonstrate their social networking site with a difference, in fact lots of differences, from Facebook and Twitter as you have come to know these sites and they have come to rule your life.

Jeff Maciejewski will dispense free advice with free ice cream—the bitter, possibly, with the sweet—and Liz Rywelski’s piece will simulate a kind of social service merchandising operation. Jody Hanson’s will be a riff on fridge door magnet poetry.

And Jim McLaughlin, as Jimyn the popular singing and roving mime, will perform superhero theme songs this year. If audience members want to do the singing, Jimyn—ever accommodating, ever gracious—will provide a dance accompaniment.

Tickets for the event are $20 at the door, but $15 in advance or any time for Hallwalls members and students. You have to be 18 or older to attend, and 21 or older, and have proper ID, to drink alcoholic beverages. Beer and wine available at the cash bar. Tickets can be bought online at; or by credit, cash, or check at Hallwalls in Babeville; or by cash or check at Talking Leaves, both locations, Rust Belt Books on Allen Street, Room on Hertel Avenue, Sweet Jenny’s Ice Cream & Chocolate at Main and Mill in Williamsville, and Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat at Main and Harlem.

Also—if you want to show off, which is encouraged—there’s a pre-event party for $50 a person that includes beer, wine, appetizers, live music by La Marimba, and bellydancers, 7:30-9pm. Tickets for the pre-event event are available at Hallwalls,, or at the door.

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