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ArtReach | “No Bigger Than a Pie Box”

Four Western New York Women will Promote Small Art Works for a Big Cause

What do you do when someone makes you mad? You get creative. That’s what four art-oriented activists have done in order to alleviate the stresses brought on by modern day politics. Instead of simply sitting back and doing nothing, Karen Eckert (Collect Art), Maria Pabico LaRotonda (Revolution Gallery), Beth Smith (Board of Hallwalls) and Emily Tucker (Benjaman Gallery/Board of Hallwalls) have decided to affect change on a local level, hoping that their efforts ripple out into all corners of the community.

It was during an art opening at LaRotonda’s gallery on Hertel Avenue that the four women decided that it was time to get proactive. “We were all feeling very stressed about the future of our country,” says Tucker.  “We all felt like we needed to do something.”  

The conversation turned out to be the ‘perfect storm’, mainly due to their respective roles in the Buffalo art community. You see, each of these ladies has a bent and a penchant for art, and through their roles in the local art scene, they are able to wield their collective power to bring about positive change.

 “As we talked about our various skill sets and passions, our mission became clear,” explains Eckert, “We could use our creativity and connections to raise money for organizations that are in jeopardy under the new administration.”  

It only took a few meetings to come up with the idea for “ArtReach”. One of the missions of ArtReach is to design a series of events that second as fundraisers. 

ArtReach has organized a silent auction with a quirky theme – the team asked a select group of artists to create a small work that would fit inside a pie box.  

“We decided to play off of an iconic all American item, the apple pie,” explains Smith. “We thought about potential collectors and their size constraints.  Also, we did not want to put too much pressure on artists or take away too from time from their daily practice.”

Participating artists in “No Bigger Than a Pie Box” silent auction include Bruce Adams, A.J. Fries, Amy Greenan, Anne Muntges, and Peter Stephens. Going along with the theme, all of the original works A) must fit into a commemorative pie box, and B) must be ready to hang. Altogether, 20 artists will be participating in the inaugural ArtReach event. The proceeds from the sales will be split between the respective artists and the following three identified charities: the Pride Center of WNY, YWCA WNY, and Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.

LaRotonda explains, “We are really excited to come together and not only make money for the artists we care about, but also raise money for charities that need it the most.”

ArtReach | “No Bigger Than a Pie Box”

“No Bigger Than a Pie Box” will be held inside The Atrium of 500 Seneca Street on Thursday July 13th from 5:30 – 7:30pm.  The event will feature fine wines and heavy hors d’oeuvres.   Pre-sale tickets to the event are $20 for individual tickets and $30 per pair through July 10th.  Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 a piece.  Tickets may be purchased online at:

Local comedian Allie Brady will be the MC for the evening.  Each of the charities benefitting from the silent auction will be on hand to share information about their services and promote potential volunteer opportunities.  

More information about the event is available on ArtReach’s event page ArtReach and on the website,

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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