I attended an art opening at UB Art Galleries last night – Lydia Okumura: Situations, and her Buffalo story is very fitting. I was originally scheduled to host her in my home while she worked on the installations at both UB Galleries but, unfortunately, had to have a friend host due to a family matter. I regret the opportunity to know her story sooner, and to share with Buffalo. I am writing today in the hopes that art enthusiasts, among others in Buffalo get to see her work while it is up.
Rachel Adams, Senior Curator of Exhibitions for UB Art Galleries came upon Lydia Okumura’s work at Broadway 1602 gallery in NY. Rachel found her art compelling, as well as realized that she had never had a full retrospective. Upon diving in deeper, it was discovered that Lydia works with a special wire that is only produced in a few factories and one happens to be right here in Buffalo, at Buffalo Wire Works (BWW).
Lydia was introduced to Joseph Abramo and Max Davis from BWW, and they have subsequently supported/sponsored her work on this project. When asked about this collaboration, Rachel Adams stated, “As a curator, there is no more privilege than working with an artist who has an amazing vision and helping that come to life.
30 years after Lydia first made these wire works, she is now able to revisit them in Buffalo with the help of the wonderful staff at Buffalo Wire Works and our local art preparators – who were instrumental in creating these works with her. The UB Art Galleries is thrilled to have established this important connection between artist and industry in our city and look forward to further collaborations—both between Lydia and BWW and other artists we bring to town!”
Buffalo’s rich industry – supporting and collaborating with the arts (much like Rigidized Metals and Boston Valley Terra Cotta have recently done) – is bringing a greater audience together locally, as well as global recognition for what is taking place in this rising city.
The art and culture is being cultivated with the help of Rachel Adams, as well as the upgraded UB architecture department, not to mention the medical facilities. UB has major relevance in Buffalo, and the art coming into its galleries is something to note.
The first of the two openings happened last night at UB North, and the second opening is a brunch and artist talk tomorrow at UB Anderson Gallery at 11 am. Stop in to see this incredible installation and meet the collaborators Lydia, Rachel, Joseph and Max.