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Photography Pop Up Coming to AM&A’s on December 7

Main Street: Photography Pop Up is a one-night only event to be held at the former AM&A’s department store, 377 Main Street, on Friday, December 7, 2018, 6 to 11 pm. The show will direct the lenses of photographers toward Main Street—the literal and the representative. Brendan Bannon, Joel Brenden, Linda Gellman, Chris Hawley, Molly Jarboe, Christina Laing, Amy Luraschi, Greg Meadows, Tom Schmitt, Ginny Rose Stewart, and David Torke are the participating photographers, and Chris Kameck is a participating visual artist.

“We’re going downtown!” says Christina Laing, a co-organizer. “No place so powerfully invokes Buffalo holiday memories like the AM&A’s department store. This place of memory will be the jumping off point for the exploratory work of the photographers.”

The AM&A’s department store had been located on Main Street in downtown Buffalo starting in 1867, moved to 377 Main Street in 1960, and closed in 1995. The department store reopened and closed in 1998, and has been vacant since. In 2015, a New York City-based development group purchased the building and began a gradual rehabilitation. “This will the first time that the general public has been invited back in to the AM&A’s department store since its closure in 1998,” says Chris Hawley, a co-organizer. “The public will get a rare chance to see the progress that is being made, and reflect on what this landmark means to present day Buffalo.”

This event will be the fifth photography pop up organized by Buffalo Obscura, a photography collaborative founded by Torke, Laing, Jarboe, and Hawley in 2017. Buffalo East, the first photography pop up, took place on February 24, 2017, at Saddle Up Saloon, 55 Hubbard Street.

“The photographers are invited to explore what Main Street means,” says Molly Jarboe, co-organizer. “Main Street as a counterpoint to Wall Street? As a showcase for fashion and popular culture? Or as a place of memory in this holiday season? The photographers will no doubt surprise us.” The work is designed to be affordable to all audiences. Each photographer is making available ten unframed prints, each in editions of five, for only $25 apiece.

“The photography pop up series is intended to exist outside of Buffalo’s mainstream art scene,” says David Torke, co-organizer. “Buffalo Obscura’s pop ups are an opportunity to see photography in places not typically seen.”

Buffalo Obscura invites you to submit your best Instagram shots of Main Street Buffalo. The purpose of this invitation is to assemble a 100-Instagram installation, ten Instagrams by ten Instagrams, at Main Street: Photography Pop Up on December 7, 2018. This is a one-night-only event.


This is a competition. The best 100 Instagrams will be included. Buffalo Obscura will print the photographs at its expense, and sell each print for $5. Buffalo Obscura will keep any proceeds to help cover the costs of this unique art event.

To be considered for the Instagram installation, please e-mail your Main Street Buffalo photographs to and add the hashtag #bflomain to your Instagram. Feel free to explore any topic that is directly related to Main Street in Buffalo, NY. All photographs must be in square format. No submissions will be considered after Friday, November 30.

Special thanks to event hosts Loung Construction.

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

View All Articles by Mike Puma
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