Connecticut Street continues to impress. This time, it’s an art collective that has planted a flag on the street, in the form of The Crucible Art Collective. Owner Taylor Heald is at the helm of this enterprise, with Alicia Malik at his side. The two attended Daemen College together, and not long after that – 8 years ago – an idea was hatched to open the collective. You might say that this one was a slow burn, but today everything is running full speed ahead.
The Crucible Art Collective opened this past June. Since that time, Heald (owner, curator, and tattoo artist) and Malik (manager, curator, and fine artist) have hosted a number of art shows, and even a few music gigs. But before they even got that far, the two needed to ramp up the space.
It is interesting to note that Heald signed off on the space while touring and working tattoo conventions in Asia. Heald and Malik were both familiar with the space because they were friends with the owners of Positive Approach, the former occupant (Positive Approach expanded over on Niagara Street). In that past, Malik was a resident artist over at 464 Gallery on Amherst Street, where she also worked back in the day. If one thing is for certain in Buffalo, there is a tight-knit community of artists that travel in the same circles and tend to look out for one another.
In that same vein of looking out for one another, Heald and Malik have already begun to connect with other cultural institutions throughout the area. To that end, they are hosting a super inspirational meeting this evening for Art Lab, which is a spin-off of ELAB (a group that peaked during the 464 Gallery days, but eventually fizzled out). It’s great to hear that Art Lab is gaining momentum – tonight is their first group meeting at The Crucible Art Collective. So you can see how a space like this con be constructive on numerous levels.
Taylor told me that besides being a tattoo shop featuring local and traveling tattoo artists…
… the Collective is also a gallery/workshop/studio/venue. The previous show featured out of town artists that Taylor has connected with over the years. The November show is dedicated to the work of local students. The space is easily manipulated to accommodate a wide variety of events, all of which can be found on the Collective’s Facebook and Instagram. Events include gallery openings and Drink ‘n Draws, for example.
It’s very refreshing to see a collective open of this nature, that not only takes care of its own, it’s also sending tentacles out into the community to draw other culturals to its midst. Heald and Malik are not just sitting around waiting for people to walk through the doors, they are out on the streets, knocking on doors, in order to create a better Buffalo through art and design.
The Crucible Art Collective | 334 Connecticut street | Buffalo, New York 14213 | (716) 262-0030