The art scene in Buffalo has always been strong, but when it comes to public art there was a time when not a lot was happening. Only in recent years have we really seen a reigniting of the arts, such as murals, and even a handful of sculptures. While public art can be inspirational for the appreciators, it can also be intimidating for the makers. While some artists, such as Mark Madden (lead image), have made successful inroads when it comes to navigating the cultural landscape, other artists are left befuddled as to where to start.
I was recently talking to a couple of artists who were hoping to paint murals in Buffalo someday. They wanted to know what it takes to become a prolific muralist such as Chuck Tingley.
Their collective thought was, once you get a mural up, you are then recognized, and the floodgates open. While that might be somewhat true, there are so many different idiosyncrasies when it comes to who gets chosen and why. Just a couple of days ago, I was speaking with a local sculptor who was raising similar questions. As we discussed the history of public art in Buffalo, his mind raced with the possibilities. When will it be my turn?
When it comes to public art, or the art scene in general, there are so many unknowns. Where does the funding come from? Who has to approve the art? Which public officials are pushing for it? Who is purchasing it? Where does one show? How does one build a portfolio? Is it possible to make a career out of art in Buffalo?
If you’ve been asking similar questions, it might behoove you to attend an upcoming conference. Here’s how it works:
The Creative Professionals Exchange is broken up into two days with the opportunity to attend up to three sessions or panels per day, according to ASI. Arts administrators, cultural leaders, community activists, and artists of all disciplines, are all encouraged to attend.
ASI presents Inaugural Creative Professionals Exchange: Two-Day Mini Conference
Friday, October 25, 1 – 5:15 PM; Saturday, October 26, 9 AM – 1:15 PM
Tri-Main Center (2495 Main Street)
$30 for one day; $50 for two
Sessions and Panels
In Public: The Rise of Western New York’s Murals and More
Moderator: Shirley Verrico (Buffalo Arts Studio)
Presenters: Ally Spongr and Tyshaun D Tyson (Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Mural Project), Aaron Ott and Edreys Wajed (Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Program), John Baker (WNY-Urban Arts Collective), and Claudia Carballada
Exhibition Etiquette for Visual Artists
Presenters: Cindi Cherko O’Mara (Buffalo Society of Artists) and Emily Reynolds and Nando Alvarez-Perez (The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art)
Publishing Etiquette for Poets and Writers
Presenters: Rachelle Toarmino (Peach Mag) and Aidan Ryan (Foundlings Press)
To Be or Not to Be a Nonprofit
Presenters: Seth Wochensky (Springville Center for the Arts) and Stephanie Riso Goodwald
10 Reasons to Call Your Nonprofit Attorney
Presenter: Alyssa Gross, Esq. (William C. Moran & Associates, P.C.)
Working Artist’s Guide to Marketing
Presenter: Zack Schneider (FIFTEEN)
Branding Checklist for Creative Organizations
Presenter: Kenyana David (81Eighteen)
Art Means Business: ASI Resources for Artists
Presenters: Jen Swan (Arts Services Initiative of WNY) and Janna Willoughby-Lohr
Art Work: Becoming a Full-Time Artist
Presenters: Julia Bottoms, Julian Montague, and Kevin Heffernan (Rise Collaborative)
The Arts Mean Business: ASI Resources for Arts Organizations
Presenters: Jen Swan (Arts Services Initiative of WNY), Crystal Selk (Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology), and MarCe Zerrate-Sandel (Amor and Heritage Dance)
Building Community Power Through the Arts
Moderator: Andrea Ó Súilleabháin (Partnership for the Public Good)
Presenters: Michelle Holler (Journey’s End), Brendan Bannon, Gabriela Cordoba Vivas (Caldo de Cultivo), and Unai Reglero (Caldo de Cultivo)
Lead image: Artist Mark Madden recently painted the courtyard at Harvey Austin BPS 97. The mural, called “Pillars of Character” will act as a meditation courtyard for children, where they can meditate, discuss issues, make music and art, or simply relax and gather inspiration.