If you’re familiar with the works of artists such as Millie Chen and Dennis Maher, then you are aware that their work transcends worlds of art media in ways that range from found art masterpieces to thought provoking video installations. Often times you will find these adventurous local artists, and hundreds of others, setting up exhibits in formal and informal settings that range from The Hotel @ The Lafayette to The Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
Together with a stable of other contemporary artists, a new gallery called Body of Trade and Commerce Gallery (BT&C) is emerging in Buffalo that will initially utilize a temporary setting on Rhode Island Street (at Five Points corner) where gallery director Anna Kaplan will feature the gallery’s first stand-alone show (you may have seen the gallery’s foray onto the local scene at ECHO Art Fair). Kaplan is no stranger to world of art galleries – according to the gallery’s website, she “is the former Curatorial Assistant at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and current adjunct professor in Daemen College’s Visual & Performing Arts Department, and holds a MA in the History of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center and a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from Brown University.” Kaplan is also actively engaged in helping to promote agents of change in the realm of local cultural and humanitarian organizations.
The upcoming BT&C Gallery Project on Rhode Island (called BLOW), will feature the works of four of Buffalo’s most recognized artists – Millie Chen, Dennis Maher, Julian Montague and Amanda Besl (see bios). The show opens on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 from 6-9pm.
What is even more compelling about BT&C Gallery, is that after launching at ECHO Art Fair (testing the waters), and then setting up in a setting on Rhode Island (getting feet wet), the fledgling gallery will then move into a permanent space at 1250 Niagara Street (along with Resurgence Brewing and Riverkeeper), where it will be able to swim freely.
“The space is about 1,900 square feet – large enough to have an ample gallery space as well as a separate office area with flat files (an important component of the gallery’s business model),” said Kaplan. “This is truly something I’ve always wanted to do and I see Buffalo as the ideal place for it to happen. I hope to provide my artists with an invaluable service-building a market for them in Buffalo and beyond. I see BT&C as enhancing the culture fabric of Buffalo itself and aim for the Niagara Street space to be a real destination for excellent fine art.”
The gallery will also be adding to the current momentum building in a neighborhood that already has a bunch of good initiatives brewing, including a new brewery, a transformed waterfront park, a new veterinary clinic and kennel (more on that coming up), and hopefully soon enough a much needed street infrastructure overhaul.