We’ve told you about WAM before. The Writers, Artists and Musicians event takes place the last Wednesday of the month, usually at the Stillwater, though they have moved to other spots for the purpose of aiding another entity’s fundraising efforts.
Nomad Magazine owner/publisher and photographer, Erica Eichelkraut, is the force behind WAM, along with Free Henry! members Derek Presti and Alex Foote. The event, free and open to the public, seems to be getting bigger and better as it picks up steam. Last night was no exception.
We had the pleasure of meeting two up-and-coming Buffalo artists, both of whom will be featured at 464 Gallery this coming month. Chuck Tingley was present, along with some of his work. He says he didn’t have much to display last night because of the 464 installation and the fact that he’s still putting finishing touches on some pieces that will go into that show, but the pieces there were a good teaser to get to 464 to see a larger body of his work.
Entering the small back room at the Stillwater, we saw that the community canvas is coming along nicely. Each week WAM-goers pick a small cut-out of a photo that has a number on the back, and then they paint in the corresponding square on a big canvas. The effect is a patchwork of different styles that’s slowly taking shape as a portrait of Buffalo City Hall. There’s some sky where bricks should be, and vice versa, that will give the final piece a feeling of certain offices floating away into the atmosphere. Whether or not that was intended, it’s fun to see what those waiting in line to make their mark might do.
The house band was Free Henry!, and if you haven’t seen them yet, this should be enough incentive to attend the next WAM. The young band is talented beyond their years, fun and truly the nicest group of people you’ll ever meet.
The open mic sessions were excellent as well. Last night’s performances saw a lot of really good acoustic guitar playing, poetry reading, and the prettiest belly dancer we’ve ever seen (top image).
The “find” of the evening came in the form of a painter named Alana Adetol Fajemisin (above). Her huge black and white canvas was alluring, and finding out that it was her first-ever black and white painting makes us hope she keeps a steady diet of the medium for a while anyway. She’s a Buffalo girl, who went away to school and then returned to a fine arts program at UB. Her reference photos along with more prints of hers, in a notebook for perusal, were equally captivating.
In true 464 Gallery tradition of promoting young artists, Fajemisin will be part of the gallery’s “Romance” show, opening there on February 12th.
The Stillwater, aside from being a great backdrop, offers food and drink specials during the free events, too. When February 24th rolls around, and you’re looking for some fun, think WAM. Join their Facebook group for reminders.