Just when you thought that the public art momentum in Buffalo was peaking, an entirely new art project is set to unfold. CEPA Gallery will be revealing a significant component of the West Side Lots Project tomorrow. The project as a whole sees a number of brilliant art installations being added to the West Side landscape.
According to Linda Gellman, CEPA VP who has also sat on the organization’s board for the last 18 years, the money needed to back this public art initiative came from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation, and from private donors. The temporary site-specific public art commissions are intended to add vibrancy to the West Side, while promoting local artists at the same time.
“We are so lucky to have Lawrence Brose back as the interim executive director of CEPA,” said Linda. “Without him, this never would have happened. It was Artistic Director David Mitchell who conducted the search for the perfect site-specific locations on the West Side. The West Side has become a melting pot of cultures – it’s the perfect time to highlight the renaissance through art.”
Altogether, there will be six+ project locations benefitting from the public art drive:
- Meditative Energy Garden – 44 Brayton Street
- Woolly Mammoth – 34 Helen Street
- Full Circle – 368 Auburn Avenue
- Pop Up Sound Garden – 1100 Niagara Street
- PUSH Buffalo – 43 Lawrence Street
- Project Grant – Various West Side Locations
Buffalo Rising will be visiting a number of these site specific projects after they have been revealed. Luckily I was afforded the opportunity to meet up with Linda Gellman to discuss her own project, which she coordinated with her partner Bill Myers (The Billlinda Affect). The two have constructed an eight foot tall energy obelisk that will be illuminated in the field at the Five Points intersection. Each of the structures sides represents the four elements – fire, water, air and earth. When lit up at night, the work of art will act as a colorful beacon, with ever-changing light patterns.
Aside from the monolith (the energy unit), artist Alana Fajemisin has created benches where people will be able to sit and reflect at the Meditative Energy Garden. There will also be a small plexiglass art house where people will be able to draw up their inspirations and drop them inside. “We are so excited to be a part of the energy of this city,” Linda told me. “Things always happen in waves. Buffalo has always been known for its arts – right now we are experiencing a major surge in the local art world. When this project is over, we hope to have a local organization or company express an interest in the energy unit, so that it can continue to provide meditative energy to the community.”
Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, August 23), we will be exploring more of these public works of art. From 7pm to 9pm, CEPA is hosting a reveal of the Meditative Energy Garden (see Facebook).
The Bellinda Affect (Linda Gale Gellman & Bill E. Myers)
Julia Jamrozik & Coryn Kempster
CS1 Curatorial Projects
Five Points Bakery
Project Grant/Tina Dillman
J M Reed & Claire Schneider
Solid 716/Jonathan Casey
Event: West Side Lots Project Reveal – Meditative Energy Garden
Dates: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Location: 44 Brayton Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
*Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be a complimentary wine tasting from 6pm-7pm at Paradise Wine – located at 435 Rhode Island (right around the corner)
The public is invited and admission is free.
Lead image: Linda Gellman stands next to her towering energy unit