Are you interested in alternative art and want to celebrate the grand opening of a new Buffalo gallery? Come to the opening reception for Dog and Pony Projects on Friday, May 7, from 7-10pm at 561 Forest Avenue in Buffalo.
The gallery will be hosting its first exhibition, Latent Pattern, featuring work by John Fleischer and Arjan Zazueta. Latent Pattern will be on display during the gallery’s business hours, from 6-9pm on Tuesdays and by appointment, until June 29. This will be the first time that either artist will present their work in the city of Buffalo.
Dog and Pony Projects plans to provide public access to alternative art and showcase the work of emerging and established artists who use unorthodox means and blend multiple forms of media to create art. Since it is a Buffalo gallery, Dog and Pony plans on showing five exhibits each year of artists native to the Western New York area, in addition to that of artists from other areas who have not presented their work in a Buffalo gallery.
According to Tim Roby and Rebekah Champ, the owners of Dog and Pony Projects, both Fleischer and Zazueta are competent artists whom they have both known for several years. They said that both artists have been involved with art communities across the United States, and their work reflects the vision of Dog and Pony Projects.
“We have always had a good dialog with what they have been up to and they know and trust our aesthetics and vision with what we want to do with this gallery,” Roby and Champ said.
In addition to praising the work of both featured artists, Roby and Champ also discussed their own experiences as artists and what went into making Dog and Pony Projects possible. They said that one of the main advantages of opening this gallery is the fact that both of its owners are artists and have been active in the community for some time.
Roby and Champ said that time and money accounted for the two biggest obstacles in opening the gallery. While the idea had been in their heads for some time, events from this past summer enabled them to make their dream a reality.
“We had been thinking about doing a gallery project like this for a couple years but for various reasons, we just weren’t in a position to do so,” they said. “We came across this space towards the end of last summer and were hoping to get it going last fall, but because we work full time and are both artists, it was hard to find time to get everything together between working our jobs and finding time to work in the studio. After discussing it we decided that it was now or never, so we landed on an opening for the beginning of May!”
Roby and Champ also emphasized that budget is an issue, since Dog and Pony Projects is being run as a not-for-profit organization, with the money coming out of the owners’ pockets. According to them, this is a challenge of establishing a gallery that will primarily focus on showcasing “artists that we think are making great work, rather than being concerned if something is going to sell or not.” However, they said that working on such a tight budget encourages understanding between gallery owner and the artist.
As part of the arts in Buffalo, Roby and Champ encouraged any emerging local artists to come to the gallery with their work and contact them. While Dog and Pony Projects is a new gallery, its owners hope it will fit into a community that already has a well-known and established group of traditional and alternative art spaces, while still maintaining its own identity and unique perspective.
By adding a new space to the Buffalo arts scene, Roby and Champ said that they have a chance to share their love of art and give back to the community. Since many local artists work in small DIY spaces in their living spaces, Dog and Pony Projects will offer them an alternative space in which to showcase the work they believe is important. Also, since Roby and Champ have lived in other cities, the exposure that Dog and Pony Projects could give to artists across the country would help artists from those areas interact with Buffalonians and raise Buffalo’s profile on a national stage.
“We recently heard a lecture by the art critic Jerry Saltz, where he mentioned something to the effect that art doesn’t just happen in New York City and Los Angeles or Berlin,” Roby and Champ said. “It happens where you make it happen and what we are doing in Buffalo is just as important as what those people are doing in those cities. We just want to help prove that fact.”