By Rebecca Boone:
For decades after his death in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fontana Boathouse remained nothing more than a two-dimensional design. That is, until local businessmen purchased the design and created a structure of its exact dimensions, and the Fontana Boathouse sprung to life on the shores of the Niagara River in Buffalo.
The world-renowned architect is known for designing his structures harmoniously with the surrounding environment, and the Fontana Boathouse is no exception as it has a breathtaking view of the Niagara River. You can see the view yourself this weekend at the first Artists, Authors and the Architect event, which will feature a blending of the best of Western New York's art and culture.
On both Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm the Fontana Boathouse, located at One Rotary Row, will host a juried exhibit and sale of work created by 30 members of the Buffalo Society of Artists, an exhibit and sale of works by local photographers, and book signings by local authors from Buffalo Heritage Unlimited and other local publishers to benefit the Fontana Boathouse, which is a not for profit organization. During the exhibition an English-style tearoom will be arranged on the veranda at the West Side Rowing Club for visitors to enjoy tea, scones and desserts. The general admission cost is $10 per person for access to the exhibit and tearoom.
On Saturday evening a special Meet the Artists and Authors reception will be held, for which the hors d'oeurves will be provided by Sample Restaurant and the wine will be provided by City Wine Merchant. Reservations for the reception are still being taken at a cost of $75 per person, and reservations are required for attendance.
This event is the result of a collaboration between the Fontana Boathouse and the Buffalo Society of Artists. The BSA was established in 1891 with the primary goal to bring high-quality art exhibits to the community featuring the work of local artists, with a focus on professionalism, professional development and publicity, said BSA President Gary Wolfe.
"We think the synergy created by this collaboration benefits both organizations and helps the community have a broader view of the culture that exists in the Buffalo area," said Wolfe.
The BSA was approached by Fontana Boathouse board member Sharon Osgood.
"It really started with trying to figure out something that would be different from other fundraisers, and the boathouse kind of lends itself to doing something different," said Osgood.
Osgood said everything fell into place serendipitously as the event is taking place the same weekend as Buffalo's Citybration. Also, the event presents a rare opportunity for art collectors as three watercolors of the late Faith Davis, a local artist who passed away in 1967, will be up for bidding, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the boathouse and local artists. Ironically Faith Davis was also a member of the BSA. The works were generously donated by Davis' children and had sat untouched for years much like the designs for the Fontana Boathouse.