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October Events and Fall Classes at the Burchfield Penney Art Center

Here is a full roster of what the Burchfield Penney has to offer in October.  All BPAC public programs are free and take place at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College. 

The BPAC also has a long list of art classes for age 6 to adult. Click here to download a pdf of all classes offered (prices vary).

Thursday, October 1 at 7PM 

Alan Bigelow’s WebYarns and Tammy McGovern’s Hyper Texts Demonstrations

Alan Bigelow’s WebYarns are created in Flash and using images, text, audio, and video, these non-traditional narratives employ poetic and occasionally humorous/ironic metaphors. Often they make statements about contemporary life, culture, and politics. The stories are created for viewing on the Web, but they can be (and have been) shown as gallery installations. For his presentation at Burchfield Penney, Bigelow will be showing a selection of his work, with some commentary on creative process and the emerging form of digital literature.

Tammy McGovern will demonstrate several of her interactive animations and experimental web environments that combine audio, text and images into mouse and keyboard driven compositions.  Often making use of appropriated elements from print, broadcast and junk e-mail, these works employ interactive techniques that remix the original materials in ways that give rise to playful and unexpected juxtapositions and sequences.

This program is part of the Burchfield Penney’s First Thursdays programs, supported by Citizens Bank.

Sunday, October 4 at 2PM

Poetry Reading: Max Wickert     

Max Wickert taught at the University at Buffalo for many years and has two books of Poems: All the Weight of St
ill Midnight
 and The Pat Sonnets. His Translation of Torquato Tasso’s The Liberation of Jerusalem recently appeared in the Oxford World’s Classic series. He is working on the first English translation of Andrea da Barberio’s  Reali di Francia. This is a free event and presented with the support of the David and Ruth Lampe Poetry Endowment.

*Thursday, October 8 at 7PM

Screening: Cradle Will Rock

Introduction by Professor Drew Kahn, Theater Department, Buffalo State College. The Cradle will Rock is a 1937 musical of the same name by Mark Blitzein.  Originally a part of the Federal Theatre Project, the film is an allegory of corruption and corporate greed set in “Steeltown, USA.”  In 1999 writer/director Tim Robbins wrote a semi-fictional film recounting the original production of The Cradle Will Rock. The film, entitled Cradle will Rock (without the “The”) blended the true history of Blitzstein’s show with the creation (and subsequent destruction) of the original Diego Rivera mural in the lobby of Rockefeller Center.

Discussion will include how the Work Projects Administration (WPA), had an active presence in Buffalo, including most notably playwright, actor and theater educator Manny Fried.  Many actors and directors were able to come to Buffalo from New York and Boston because of WPA support and continued their careers in the region as a result.

*Saturday, October 10 at 2-3PM          

Lecture: Mark Goldman The Great Depression and Buffalo’s Arts Culture

In Mark Goldman’s book, “City on the Edge”, much of Buffalo’s history deals with the cultural institutions that were built during some of the most trying times of the 20th century including the Fine Arts Academy (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) and the first artist run gallery in the US. A short time before the Crash of 1929, Charles Burchfield quit his job as a designer at the Birge Carey Wallpaper Co. to devote all his time to painting.  Goldman will lecture on the opportunities that can be discovered during difficult times and how Buffalo has the uncanny ability to regenerate itself when the economy hits the hardest.

*Saturday, October 10 at 8PM

Performance: “…Whose Names Are Unknown”:  Words, Images and Songs from the Great Depression

With The 198 String Band, introduction by Professor, Charles Mancuso, Music Department.

This multimedia presentation engages the audience through sight, sound, and thought-provoking imagery to appreciate the devastating experience of the Great Depression and the national recovery policies of the New Deal.  The sixty minute program consists of live interpretive narrations that set the historical context of social and economic occurrences of the era, through compelling photographs, punctuated by a live performance of folk songs of the time. The presentation title, “…Whose Names Are Unknown,” is taken from an eviction notice that appeared on a farm in the Midwest, “to John and Mary Doe, whose names are unknown.”  The program helps to reconstruct the experience of ordinary Americans who have gone voiceless in their own national history.

*Programs are presented in cooperation with the 4th Bi-Annual Cross-Border Post Keynesian Conference at Buffalo State College

Visit here for complete conference details.


Thursday, October 22 at 7PM

Screening: Episode 3 of the new series of Art 21 – Transformations

Featuring artists Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cindy Sherman and Paul McCarthy

Whether observing and satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, the artists featured in Transformation capture the sensibilities of our age while at times inhabiting the characters they have created. 

Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in London and spent his early years in Nigeria. Working in multiple mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography and film, Shonibare draws upon his bicultural upbringing, European literary classics, 18th and 19th century history, and current events to create tableaus of dazzling color and patterns that provoke re-consideration of stereotypical colonial narratives. Art21 filmed Shonibare creating a new drawing “dedicated to the architects of the current economic crisis.”

Cindy Sherman is well known for her photographic series in which she creates a myriad of characters, metamorphosing herself from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron in her photographs and early films. Working alone in her studio, she draws inspiration as much from contemporary tabloids, TV and movies, as from fairy tales and canonical works of art history. 

Paul McCarthy has created works of video, installation, sculpture and performance throughout his career. His video-taped performances and multimedia installations satirize polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard the viewer with a sensory overload of spectacular imagery. His works, which riff on cultural icons ranging from Hummel figurines to Disney characters, from George Bush to Queen Elizabeth, are often controversial and aim to subvert tradition.


Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 24

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Milton Rogovin – 2 Day Event

Saturday, October 24 at 1PM – Day 1

Reading: Dr. Melanie Herzog’s Milton Rogovin: His Life, His Photography

Dr. Melanie Herzog, professor of art history at Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin, will present a lecture on Milton Rogovin: His Life, His Photography, based on her book about the documentarian.  Herzog’s lecture will be followed by a 19 min. 35 sec. film/DVD, Picture Man:  The Poetry of Photographer Milton Rogovin. (Producer, Mark Rogovin; Editor, Sharon Karp, Media Monster; Cameraman, Isadore Bleckman; Original Editing, Sheera Bleckman.)  The programs will conclude with a book-signing by Melanie Herzog and celebration of Milton’s birthday with cake

Sunday, October 25th at 2PM – Day 2

Reading: Eric Gansworth: From the Western Door to the Lower West Side

Eric Gansworth will present a poetry reading, From the Western Door to the Lower West Side.  Following the reading will be a book-signing by Eric Gansworth and celebration of Milton’s birthday with cake.

Thursday, October 29 at 7PM

Reading by Author of Buffalo Lockjaw Greg Ames

The Burchfield Penney and Talking Leaves are pleased to present a reading by Greg Ames, author of Buffalo Lockjaw, at the Burchfield Penney. Synopsis: For James Fitzroy, Buffalo, New York is a town where the winters are rough and the local dives are rougher. As soon as he was able, James fled to Brooklyn, where he took a job writing greeting card copy at Kwality Kards and soon found himself just as unproductive and unfulfilled as he had been in the Buffalo social circle he had sought to escape.  Buffalo Lockjaw, the debut novel by Greg Ames, chronicles a native son’s return to this city on the cusp of winter. James’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and he drives home for Thanksgiving with a copy of Assisted Suicide for Dummies in the passenger seat. Over that fateful holiday, James reconnects with boozing high school friends, his father and his sister, and the city of Buffalo. As his mother’s condition worsens, James’s subtle allusions to assisted suicide are brushed off by his father and sister, and family tensions are tangible.

Like his protagonist, Greg Ames was raised in Buffalo and moved to Brooklyn–where he still lives–to begin his artistic life.


Written by Buffalo Rising

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