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A Golden Exhibition

By Amanda McLaughlin:
Fifty:  the very word is one of the most charged in our humble language, and today, in our somewhat saccharine and saturated society, often calls up images of fine scotch and silver fox–the George Clooney kind, I mean–or dreary office birthday parties and ill-fitting pants.  And yet fifty–so provocative in its trochaic simplicity, so powerful in its associations–can take on a remarkably different, generative, and golden–to borrow from that impervious metal–attitude:  one of commemoration, profound celebration, and exploration.  It is in that spirit that the University of at Anderson Gallery presents its newest exhibition, Fifty at Fifty: Select Artists from the Gerald Mead Collection.
exhibit, which begins with an opening reception this Saturday, is a multimedia
survey from the Gerald Mead Collection, a collection organized and amassed by
UB alumnus Gerald Mead.  The collection
features work from artists who were either born in or have lived in the Western
New York area.   Since he began
collecting in 1987, Mr. Mead has amassed over 670 works by 600 artists, and
plans to continue expanding the collection in hopes of forming an  “encyclopedic collection” of influential
artists associated with local artistic organizations like the Buffalo Society
of Artists, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, CEPA, Patteran Society, and Big
Orbit Gallery.  Fifty at Fifty, organized on the occasion of Mr. Mead’s 50th
birthday, celebrates 86 pieces from 50 of the most significant historical and
contemporary artists associated with Western New York.  The selection was guided by the artists
“historical imprint… measured by the inclusion of their work in several museum
collections;” the included artists have been featured in the Whitney Museum,
the Tate Gallery, The Smithsonian National Museum, and the Museum of Modern
Art, to select from just a few.  Artists
featured include photographers Milton Rogovin and Cindy Sherman, famed
watercolorist Charles Burchfield, sculptor Albert Hayley, and painter Eugene
Speicher, to name just a small sampling of the included artists.

Fifty at Fifty is accompanied by an illustrated brochure and opens with an
introduction by Sandra Olsen, Ph.D, the Director of UB Art Galleries.  The evening will feature statements by Molly
Donovan, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National
Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Louis Grachos, Director of the Albright-Knox
Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Kate Koperski, Director of the Castellani Art
Museum of Niagara University, Lewiston, NY. 
In addition to the exhibition, and to coincide with Mr. Mead’s birthday,
the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, has
commissioned a limited edition broadside featuring an illustration of a print
by SUNY Distinguished Professor Harvey Breverman–included in the Gerald Mead
collection–along with a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Carl Dennis.

Fifty at Fifty opens this Saturday, August 18th, with an opening reception
from 6PM-8PM.  The exhibition runs
through October 21, 2012, and is free and open to the public.  In addition to the exhibition run, the UB
Anderson Gallery is offering public events throughout the early fall.  On Thursday, August 30 from 7PM-8PM, Gerald
Mead will lead a tour of the exhibition. 
On Thursday, September 13th from 7PM-8:30PM, Gerald Mead and
Robert Scalise, Registrar and Assistant Director for Exhibitions and
Collections, UB Art Galleries, will give a talk regarding assembling art and
caring for an art collection.  On
Thursday, September 27th, from 7PM-8:30 PM, Holly E. Hughes, Curator
for the Collection at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, will discuss the work of
artists in Albright-Knox’s collection that have a Buffalo connection, and the
history behind collecting Buffalo affiliated artworks.  The Anderson Gallery is located at 1 Martha
Jackson Place, near Englewood and Kenmore Avenue.  Aside from special events, the Gallery–when
it is running an exhibition–is open Wednesday-Saturday, from 11AM-5PM, and
Sunday 1PM-5PM.  More information on the Fifty at Fifty exhibition and the
Anderson Gallery can be found at
or by calling (716) 829-3754 
(*All quotes from the University at Buffalo
Anderson Gallery.) 


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