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Next Door Neighbors

Snowbound on Lake Erie by Len Kagelmacher
Next Door Neighbors
Art Dialogue Gallery And Artists Group Gallery offer exciting, side by side shows

Len Kagelmacher’s photos of Buffalo and near environs on view at Art Dialogue Gallery focus on architectural features hidden in plain sight. But a telephoto lens helps. Features like his City Hall People window jamb statues reminiscent of medieval cathedral door jamb statues—from an historical moment when stone sculpture was just beginning to free itself from the church architectural background—now in an art deco mode.

Hertel on Fire by Ester Baum-Taylor

Or the cupid relief sculptures along the top of the Ellicott Square Building. Or elegant Roman archway main entrance to the same building, with classical nudes or semi-nudes—male and female—in the corner triangular areas, right and left, above the archway. Both figures with wings. The male alas headless, but identifiable as Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, by the caduceus, the staff with two snakes. The female not so identifiable. Maybe just a friend. Both figures have angel wings. (Mercury traditionally had them on his ankles. Maybe the sculptor misunderstood.)

Another architectural sculpture photo of a fearsome-looking animal of unidentified species—snarling and baring teeth—on the old downtown post office building, now the ECC city campus. One also of John Morrissey’s boat former waterfront feature in a snowstorm, huddled as if for protection beside and beneath the adjacent grain elevator. An arrangement in gray and black. Essence of forlorn.

Other photos of the Botanical Gardens building, near and far views of the stone “castle” at Fort Niagara, and one of the might industrial mechanisms of the Col. Ward pumping station. Subdued colors pretty much throughout. Photos more about forms than colors. With the possible exception of one of ruins and detritus around the Roycroft Campus Power House in East Aurora, called Color of Fall. Blend of russet and brown. Rust and decay. But more interest in the strewn miscellany. The ruins and detritus.

While next door in the interconnecting Artists Group Gallery, a group members’ show in the form of holiday art sale, called Artful Gifts. Including some beautiful nature scene impressionist oil paintings by Joan Langley Shaw, and superb pre-impressionist still life with grapes and a pear; some Robert Schulman stark silhouette city scenario photos; some Dennis Scherer acid-treated copper vermicular pattern works; and Esther Baum-Taylor spectacular skies and hues photos, one in what could be a rural setting, one looking west down Hertel Avenue at sundown. Amid a turmoil of clouds, dual jet airplane contrails aimed straight down the street.

Some Don Scheller little black and white photos of solitary tree trunks and branches—no foliage—in immaculate snow-covered landscapes; an Edward G. Bisone abstract torn-brown-paper collage item with ink splotch and ink letter x, a little splotchy also; and Thomas Sundberg enigmatic tiny watercolors—each about two inches by two inches in dimensions—possible landscapes, possibly with water features, in two cases possibly waterfalls, entitled Nine Days, Thirteen Days, and Fifty One Days.

And Douglas Bauer’s mystery box entitled Ben Carson Grain Storage Pyramid, including a little matchsticks construction and colorful little medallion with writing too small to be legible, some random glass balls or marbles, fabric, mirror.

Several hundred works, it looks like. Maybe a hundred artists.

The Artful Gifts show continues through December 31. The Len Kagelmacher show continues until January 8.

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