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M&T Bank Fourth Friday: Art and Activism

Have you ever stopped to consider how art can change the way that the world around us is shaped? Most of the time, we look at art for the aesthetics, composition, colors, and even the way that certain pieces make us feel. But art can have an even greater, more profound impact on us, as it relates to social, political and economic change within our communities.

On Friday, May 26, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, a discussion on art and activism will be held at Buffalo Arts Studio, featuring a panel of artists, administrators, and educators. The panelists will discuss their roles as artists, activists, and placemakers. Each of these artists will relay their experiences, using art as a form of activism to change the way that we look at, and interact with, people and places. 

5:00 pm Introductory presentation:

Julia Bottoms-Douglas will discuss her current exhibition, Tinted: A Visual Statement on Color, Identity, and Representation. This body of work originally developed as a response to the media’s repetition of racially biased imagery in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case. She rejected the hyper-sexual, violent, and sinister portrayal of people of color that saturated the media at that time and that persists today. To counter the manufactured images of popular culture, Bottoms-Douglas looked to the dynamic and creative young men and women whom she encounters in her daily life.

6:00 – 7:00 pm Panel Discussion:


  • Max Anderson (Open Buffalo)
  • Shirley Verrico (Buffalo Arts Studio)


Julia Bottoms-Douglas is a visual artist, creative entrepreneur, and a contributor for Afropunk Media. She is the first Open Buffalo Emerging Artist, serves on the Board of Directors at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, and is an instructor for Buffalo City Summer School for the Arts, Buffalo Arts Teachers Collaborative, and Buffalo Arts Studio. She also owns Buffalo Brush, Paint and Sip in North Buffalo.

Korey Green is a filmmaker who was born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo, New York. Growing up in a neighborhood where most people chose the street life, Korey made the decision to continue his education at Alfred State College where he pursued his interest in Creative Writing. The Forgotten City is Korey’s first project and since its completion, he has directed more than 10 short films and a host of music videos, commercials and a feature documentary The Experience.

Bianca L. McGraw is a Pure Ink Poetry Slam Co-Host and Event Coordinator, Higher Education Advocate and international practicing multimedia installation/performance artist that uses art, poetry, performance and space as a vehicle for discussion about identity, diversity and perspectives while exploring personal, societal and communal experiences.

Henry Louis Taylor is a full professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo and founding director of the U.B. Center for Urban Studies. Taylor has written numerous books, articles, and technical reports, and received many awards for his research and practical activities.

7:00-8:00 Question & Answer session

Buffalo Arts Studio | 2495 Main Street | Suite 500 | Buffalo, New York 14214 | See Facebook event

Image: Stacey Robinson, There is No Post-Colonial

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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