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Buffalo ReUse ReFind Arts Exhibit

Author and Photographer: Jessica Biegaj
When you see a door, besides a piece of building material made of wood, glass or metal, what do you see it as? A table, a headboard or a piece of art? If you access your imagination, as Buffalo ReUse urges us to do not only at an art exhibit but every day through their work of deconstruction and community building, you will realize that a door can be all of these things and more. Last night, Grant Street Gallery and Buffalo ReUse presented ReFind Arts Exhibition, “Accessing the Imagination”, their second anniversary party and art exhibit of 23 pieces from 18 artists.
“This goes along with the theme of the ReSource’s grand opening ‘Breaking Down the Door’ ceremony we had in May,” said Caesandra Seawell, Buffalo ReUse’s Logistics Coordinator and artist of three pieces in the show including 2 of her own “Pocket Door” and one with Ian MacDonald, a fireplace screen made from a door found on a curb in Riverside. “Artists have a way of looking at the world differently. They set up a problem for themselves and solve it. We have functional pieces, a bench, a table, and we have nonfunctional pieces.”
The art exhibit was established to showcase ReUse’s goals of landfill diversion and getting people of the community together who might not normally get to meet. Attendees enjoyed tunes by FudgyChewy, desserts and other refreshments. Mary Lawson, who moved to Buffalo from Pennsylvania in September, said she had been walking by each day watching the artists painting and putting the exhibit together, she had to come see it.
“It’s nice to see something positive in this community. This neighborhood needs things like this.”
Artists were of all ages as indicated by a garden piece made from the Seneca Street Church Afterschool program that included birdhouses and doorknobs as a wind chime element. Cornelia Dohse-Peck’s “In-Out” piece was created from a door you might find going into the space under the stairwell.
“I’m playing with the in and out. There are so many moments when out is the right way and in is wrong.” Attendees got to pick a word from a basket Cornelia carried around to interact with her piece. “The words are to get you thinking. People pick a word and I want them to think more, to discuss the words and their connection to the in-out concept.” Cornelia said she loved working with a door as her medium. “It’s very freeing to what I do otherwise, but it is still social and connected to people.”
Most artists purchased their materials from the Buffalo ReUse ReSource, at 298 Northampton Street. Heat registers, doorknobs and more salvaged items were utilized in the art. Frank Beurskens’ deconstructed outhouse door came from a school house in Cambria, New York. It was built in 1842 but today the door is a ”Privy Table”.
Attendee Gabrielle Bouliano, Slam Master of the Nickel City Poetry Slam, said “This is the most sensible thing that has been done here in a long time. One of the most valuable resources Buffalo has is its housing stock. I’m such a huge fan.” Paul Marzello of Orchard Park agreed with ReUse’s initiatives to exhibit used materials as art. “With Buffalo being as old as it is and a lot of these cherished relics (houses) lying around, this is perfect fit for us.”
The exhibit is on view until October 30th at the Grant Street Gallery at 220 Grant Street near Lafayette.
Buffalo ReUse
298 Northampton Street off Main Street
Office 716-885-4131 | ReSource/store 716-882-2800
www.buffaloreuse.org, info@buffaloreuse.org

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