The West Side Lots project is an exciting series of temporary site-specific public art commissions that will transform vacant lots—remnants of what was once urban blight on Buffalo’s West Side—into vibrant, engaging, and interactive public displays. Projects will foster community engagement, support existing grassroots revitalization efforts, and promote the importance of art and culture on community vibrancy.
Buffalo’s West Side is a microcosm of the city’s growing global populace. Over 30% of New York’s refugee population have resettled in Buffalo, with a substantial percentage having made the West Side their home. People hailing from Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia, in addition to a large Hispanic population, have relocated to Buffalo’s West Side to reclaim their lives and create a sense of community. With the support of a strong coalition of community-based non-profits, they have begun working towards creating an incredible, self-propelled neighborhood renaissance.
The goal of the West Side Lots initiative is to engage local residents, bring attention to this unique community and promote new approaches to community building by drawing together diverse audiences. CEPA Gallery, with its long history of community action, critical engagement, and cultural presence, seeks to support the efforts of the West Side community through contemporary art.
A full prospectus of the West Side Lots public art initiative can be found by clicking HERE.
This sculpture, which functions as interactive art that can be changed with a remote control, is a collaboration between the Bellinda Effect (Linda Gale Gellman and Bill E. Meyers) and Alana A. Fajemisin located at Five Points Bakery. The colors, brightness, any of the 4 program loops, and the speed of the loops can be turned on and off. This illuminating sculpture has a calming hypnotic effect. Many scientific studies have proven that colors have an effect on our moods. Our moods can be changed with the right color combination, making these units very therapeutic in nature.
The garden will illuminate imagery using the four elements: fire, water, air and earth, elements as we know them, that are outwardly manifested in forms of the elements themselves. The element of water has magnetic properties; it nurtures and sustains. The element of fire has electrical and creative properties. Air is a detaching element and enables co-existence of the two main elements, fire and water. The element of earth binds fire, water and air in various proportions, which makes possible the formation of materials with different properties.
Project Grant is a community arts organization that provides free art workshops and produces community festivals in under-resourced neighborhoods in Buffalo. Project Grant was launched in the fall 2014 out of the home of artist Tina Dillman, as an artist residency program to offer artists with paid teaching opportunities, and free public programming accessible to the local community.
Over the course of six weeks during the summer 2016, Project Grant will offer free art workshops to the youth on the West Side at the Massachusetts Avenue Park. This program is doubling the number of workshops from last year, because of the need that exists in offering these youth something engaging to do, while they are free to roam the park. The park is currently in a state of disrepair, with the picnic tables broken and pieces of garbage, including broken glass and needles found throughout. There is also a drug problem in the area, with the park being a site for sales. This program provides the youth of the neighborhood with a positive experience, with the presence of trusted adults that are concerned with their well being and livelihood.
Project Grant will be working with local artist Amy Greenan to produce a series of workshops that explore personal relationships to home, place and identity through 2-D and 3-D exercises that utilize easily accessible materials (items found at home, outdoors or at the Dollar Store.)
Full Circle is a collaborative project between Claire Schneider’s C.S.1 Curatorial Projects and the architectural/artist team of Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik. This artwork grows out of an interest in play spaces and playgrounds, in the broadest definition of that term, as spaces which can be used to liberate the individual from the realm of the generic and at the same time offer opportunities for the enrichment of the ordinary.
Starting with a familiar construct and transforming it, the installation will twist the typical experience of a swing-set by including elements of confrontation and dialogue through the positioning of individuals in relation to the work and each other. Bringing a piece of playground equipment together with the charged spatial arrangement of political round-tables and corporate conference rooms, the installation takes the playful construct and positions it in the adult world. By focusing on the user, the project will be a manifestation of these ideas and an embodiment of socially conscious and thereby political engagement of design in the questioning of the basic relationships between people in space.
Taking a familiar play-structure and through a simple rotation giving it a new logic and spatial organization, endows it with the possibility to spark communication and dialogue between its users. No longer partaking in parallel movement as on a typical swing-set, the users of FULL CIRCLE will be confronted and involved in a playful dialogue. The individual user will decide whether to face into or outside the circle, thus determining his or her level of interaction with others.
Visit C.S.1 CURATORIAL PROJECTS: www.cs1projects.org/fullcircle
Visit Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik:www.ck-jj.com/full-circle-2016
Woolly Mammoth is a collaborative effort between Starlight Studio and Art Gallery, their artist Chace Lobley and Jonathan Casey of Solid 716. Lobley has rendered a prehistoric Woolly Mammoth to be realized in full-scale with realistic texture and color. Casey will help fabricate the mammoth, made of light weight foam with a concrete outer shell, with Lobley on site. This large creature, whose shoulders are 6 feet off the ground will capture attention of viewers in all seasons.
The image of a life-size Woolly Mammoth standing in a Buffalo lot is powerful and evocative. It is a reminder of what may have once roamed where our city stands today; it is a reminder of our dominant natural world; it is a reminder to look; perhaps it is a reminder of something bigger and more powerful than us, and, it is fun.
Starlight Studio and Art Gallery’s mission is to support the artistic expression of people with disabilities through the provision of a cooperative art studio environment with individualized guidance, goal setting, technical assistance, demonstrations, and critiques. Through on- and off-site exhibitions and other opportunities for representation and sales, the Starlight artists hone their artistic interests, become stronger advocates and better integrated citizens.
See the Woolly Mammoth at 34 Helen Street, Buffalo, 14213.
Pop-Up Sound Garden is part of a series created by Gabriella D’Angelo that has been experimented with in various scales, materials, and configurations. The project envisions the power of the garden as a space, which amplifies our rights as citizens of the world to exchange words freely. A cluster of individual conical light-weight steel structures clad in an impermeable, sound reflective membrane, the constellation grows and multiplies as desired.
The intention of this Garden is to create a space and place, which encourages people of all ages to enjoy and interact with, both visually and physically, while creating a new tool for communication. Where the garden traditionally has offered individuals the opportunity to experiment with physical, artistic expressions, this Garden allows for one to experiment with audial gestures to create landscapes of changing dialogue. Creating space with the invisible, this project not only plays with material and construction methodology, but taps into sensorial experiences and imagination.
Stacey Robinson creates multimedia art works as resistance to Black oppression in colonial America. His drawings, paintings, writings and performances examine Black culture and the Black body as a “technology” that addresses ideas of the intricacy of love, sex, religion and de-colonialism.
Stacey is designing a mural that will reflect on the unique social and economic character of the neighborhood. The mural will be installed on the front side of a handball court wall built by PUSH at their Massachusetts Avenue Park property located on Lawrence Street.