A former Buffalo artist is spending some more time in her hometown, and while she’s here she’s dedicating herself to a number of art-related projects. Although Gretchen Weidner, painter, muralist, and educator, is now primarily based out of San Diego, CA, she is summering in Buffalo. “This summer I am returning home to Buffalo to release my newest collection ‘Reflections of the Queen City’ on July 6th in the heart of Allentown at Buffalo Big Print,” said Weidner, who hails from the Southtowns. “I’ve painted for Google, MLB, Lafayette Hotel SD, restaurants, hotels, charities, and South Towns Pediatrics. I’ve taught HS Art at Dunkirk High School, and now in CA at Samuel F.B. Morse High School. Currently, I spend winters in California and I live in Buffalo during the summer months. I have been working in education for 11 years, and started a career as an Artist in CA in 2014.”
Weidner grew up in a small town outside of Buffalo watching her family run multiple businesses in the Southtowns; a grocery chain, Bells, and a BBQ company, Weidner’s BBQ Chicken. Weidner’s entrepreneurial spirit moved her in a different direction than food and grocery, as she turned to art and painting to focus her talents.
Weidner’s upcoming show at Buffalo Big Print is a direct response to the city’s revitalization. Since she is essentially a fair weather boomerang Buffalonian (I mean that in the literal sense), I wanted to know what part of the city’s renaissance was influencing her work. I noticed that she had an image of Marv Levy on her postcard for the upcoming show, which was certainly an awesome sports era for Buffalo, but that was a while ago, and we’ve been suffering in that department ever since Marv’s departure.
“‘Reflections of the Queen City’ is the title for my show expressing the influences that I feel make Buffalo great,” said Weidner. “Because I have the pleasure of living on both coasts and have spent most of my life and now summers in Buffalo, I feel more grateful for the landscape, character, and history that lies in Buffalo, NY. Marv Levy represents an era of true pride and grit for the city. I think he is an iconic figure and has helped shape Buffalo into the city it is today. Therefore, he became the face for my show in which I am hoping to represent not only the past but the present growth that has happened as well.
Check out a virtual tour of a 5,000 sq’ ft medical center Weidner painted inside and out in Hamburg, NY.
As for Weidner’s decision to split her time between the two coasts, she says that her heart is truly in Buffalo, and the more that she’s see the city turning the corner, the more inspired she is to continue to hold Buffalo up on a pedestal.
“I left Buffalo four years ago to find artistic opportunity. I have been fortunate enough to find success as a muralist and canvas painter in California but I also held onto property in Buffalo near the water because of the buzz around the revitalization that is happening. Now when I come back for the summer I am engrossed in all that is happening. I am excited about the growth, opportunity, and new beginnings. Now I get to be a part of it as well with this show at Buffalo Big Print. An opportunity I’ve been working for for over 10 years.”
Join Weidner’s “Reflections of the Queen City” collection release and show opening on July 6, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM PT at Buffalo Big Print, 78 Allen Street, Buffalo, New York. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Art Education programs
Lead image: Photo taken by Katelyn Weidner