By Joanna Gillespie (Hallwalls board member and A&M committee member):
For followers of the California-based Family Radio network, this Saturday, May 21st is Judgment Day. For Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, it’s an excuse to party. RAPTURE/RUPTURE is the theme for the 23rd Annual Artists & Models Affair, Buffalo’s longest-running and most outrageously fun arts party. Whether this will be your first time attending, or you just can’t remember the last twenty-two parties, we’ve prepared a handy primer on all things Artists & Models. To that end, we give you the official A&M RAPTURE/RUPTURE Q & A Fact Sheet.
What: RAPTURE/RUPTURE: Hallwalls Artists & Models Affair #23
When: Saturday, May 21st from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Where: Rock Harbor Yard, 57 Tonawanda St., Buffalo, NY (at Niagara St. near NYS 198/Scajaquada Expressway)
Tickets: $15.00 (advance)/$20.00 (door). Available at Hallwalls (in person or online at www.hallwalls.org), Talking Leaves Books (Elmwood Ave. & Main St.), Pizza Plant (Walker Plaza-Williamsville), Rust Belt Books (Allen St.) and Room (Hertel Ave).
More Information: Cash bar (note: no ATM is available onsite). Must be 18 or over to attend. Must be 21 or older and have proper ID for beer and wine. Parking available on site. For additional information, please visit www.hallwalls.org.
Q: What is the history of the Artists & Models Affair?
A: The Artists & Models Affair (or “A&M” for all you insiders) was founded in 1984 by local arts and entertainment innovator, Tony Billoni, as a major social event and showcase of visual and performing artists. In 1994, after ten years of producing this widely-loved art party, Billoni generously bequeathed the event to Hallwalls. A&M has continued most years since, becoming Hallwalls’ largest and most popular annual fundraising event. In the past 22 manifestations of A&M, a multitude of Buffalo sites have served as the locus for temporary artistic expressions and controlled insanity: the Broadway Market, abandoned factories, warehouses, auto showrooms, roller rinks, deserted downtown malls and department stores, the Tri-Main Center, and the Buffalo Convention Center. This will be A&M’s second year at the Rock Harbor Yard, a giant creekside warehouse in Buffalo’s historic Black Rock district.
Q: What’s up with this year’s theme?
A: RAPTURE/RUPTURE is this year’s Artists & Models theme. Each year, Hallwalls announces a theme that is loosely based on a current event and completely open to the interpretation of artists and audience alike. Past incarnations of A&M have reflected contemporary issues or the venue itself, such as Vampires of Capitalism (1989), Censor This (1990), Sweatshop (1995), Cantina At The Edge of the Galaxy (1999), Buffalo Babylon (2000), Nocturminal (2007), and Stimulus (2010). When we set this year’s A&M date of May 21, 2011, we could not ignore the hilarious coincidence with what we were reading about Harold Camping [President of the Christian network, Family Radio] and Judgment Day. As stated in our call for submissions, A&M themes reflect, “a state of being, a condition, an apparition, a temporary psychosis, an inevitability, a breeding ground for frivolity.” The notions of “rapture” as something transformative and ecstatic, and “rupture” something as disruptive and fracturing are provocative starting points for a wide array of artist interpretations.
Q: What can I expect at A&M this year?
A: As always, RAPTURE/RUPTURE will include dynamic, compelling, and creatively deranged art installations. A&M is a night of interactive art, dance music, live performances and all-out fun in the euphoric style for which Artists & Models is known. It’s a journey to the exquisite, the ecstatic and the unrestrained, possibly to the point of implosion – and all with a celebratory air as more than thirty artists and performers interpret the theme and invite us into their revelry. A&M is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy. Barriers between artists, models and audiences explode, leading to a frenzy of creativity and surprise. In addition, plenty of good food and drink will be provided: wine from City Wine Merchant, beer from Certo Brothers, summer cook-out specialties by Ike & B G’s Barbeque, and PaisleyPops by East Park Bakery. Special RAPTURE/RUPTURE T-shirts designed by Betsy Frazer of Frazer Montague Design and printed by Abaca Press will be selling like hot cakes.
Q: Will I see artists? Will I see models?
A: Yes and maybe. Over sixty artists will be presenting art installations and performances at A&M this year. You won’t be able to take three steps in any direction without seeing an artist. And models? Well, don’t expect to see Heidi Klum or Gisele Bündchen. But do expect to see a array of Buffalo’s most creative and fashion forward folks. Last year someone wore a fabulous dress made of tarot cards. Can’t find your sequin sheath? No worries. Jeans and a t-shirt can be just as chic. Anything goes!
Q: Where is Rock Harbor Yard, you ask?
A: The Rock Harbor Yard is located in Buffalo’s Black Rock district at 57 Tonawanda St. You can’t miss it. Once you arrive at the bend in Niagara St., near NYS 198/Scajaquada Expressway, BOOM! You’ll see a giant brick warehouse with a hand-painted sign — The Yard. Parking will be available on site. Alternatively, you can ride your bike using the Scajaquada Creek Bike Path.
Over 30 Art Instal
lations by Alice Alexandrescu, Debora Bernagozzi, Jason Bernagozzi, Seth Tyler Black, Victory Bradbury, Nelson Bradley, Allie Brady, James Boatwright, Michael Bosworth, Monte Burman, Scott Bye, Justin Chouinard, Josh Clemison, Kelly Cornelius, Cosmic Horses (Julia Prudhomme & Bethany Scholl), Katherine Gaudy, Jody Hanson, Mark Hursty, Hackerspace/Buffalo Lab with James Andrix, John Fink, Liz Flytz, Isaac DV Johnson, Kevin Charles Kline, Paul Kochmanski, Jeffrey Lane, Jeff Maciejewski, Jim McLaughlin (Jimyn the Singing Mime), Brian Milbrand, Jan Nagle, Esther Neisen, Kevin O’Keefe, Nancy J. Parisi, Josh Parkins, Elizabeth Pellathy, Real Dream Cabaret (John Carocci, Ron Ehmke, Holly Johnson, Liz Knipe, Brian Milbrand), Scott Ries, Tim Scaffidi , Anna Scime, Eric Souther, Susan Stefanski, Neil Terry, Marc Tomko, Goda Trakumaite, Peter Tucker, and Kit Young. On Site Painting by A.J. Fries, Joyce Hill, Candace Keegan, Gennifer Felicity Krupper, Sarah Sutton, and Chuck Tingley. Live Performances by Jamie Kubala & Spirit Dance Co., Transgendered Jesus, Bev Beverly, Obskyura, Deebaser, and DJ LoPro and the 12/8 Path Band.
It’s Artists & Models: Rapture/Rupture and it’s happening only once. Judgment Day notwithstanding, we hope you’ll join us on Saturday night!
Poster design: Betsy Frazer/Frazer Montague Design