So often we take our “everyday opportunities” for granted. The ability to take a proper photo for example. Access to a camera. Taking time to go on adventure. The chance to explore Buffalo.
For some people with learning disabilities, these enjoyable experiences are not readily accessible. And for that reason, there are community organizations that offer the chance to do things that would otherwise be impossible.
Recently The Learning Disabilities Association of WNY (LDA of WNY) Youth Program and CEPA Gallery set out to make a huge difference in the lives of six lucky people. The six individuals were invited to experience Silo City as a living art laboratory, where they could experiment with cameras, photographing a place that is considered inspirational to so many on a number of different levels.
“When the Buffalo River Programming grant came around this year, I knew LDA of WNY needed to jump on it and give our youth program participants an opportunity to explore the Buffalo waterfront in a fun and creative way,” says Director of Community Relations Parrish Gibbons, “The group went on 3 separate tours of Silo City, each day with a new focus. The youth program participants were in awe throughout the entire project, as none of them had ever been to Silo City before.”
CEPA Gallery staff provided the group with cameras, instructions, and the film developing assistance. Local artist Chris Kameck toured the site with the group, making sure that the history of the site was parlayed. Once the photo project is complete, Kameck will lead a wheat paste initiative that will be adhered to the back of the historic Malt House (facing Mutual Riverfront Park).
The program/project is called “What’s in my backyard?”. The opening reception is to be held on Saturday, August 23rd from 11am-3pm at Mutual Riverfront Park. The event will include lawn games, food and refreshments. Some of the work will also be for sale, with proceeds supporting the LDA of WNY Youth Program.
The project was funded by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC), and administered by the Arts Services Initiative of WNY. The images will also be on display at the Memories and More building (at the park) until mid-November.
You can learn more about the event on Facebook.