Art has always held Buffalo together. During the toughest of times times, artists have rallied, as they always do, by offering people opportunities to take their minds off of the problems at hand. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Art is more essential than ever.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, two independent WNY gallerists – Elisabeth Samuels (Indigo Art) and Emily Tucker (Jinxie Tucker, Benjaman Gallery) – have come up with a multi-site exhibition that is essentially a “treasure hunt” for art. Through their consultancy firm Resource:Art (R:A), Samuels and Tucker have curated a number of proposals that were submitted, and narrowed down their exhibition list to 25 artists. These artists are now creating a series of installations throughout Western New York. Altogether, there will be 22 installations to visit, by foot, by bike, or by car, while abiding by social distancing protocols.
Initially, Samuels and Tucker launched an online only exhibition, “SUPPORT”, which helped to raise funds for artists and non-profit cultural organizations during COVID-19 by way of selling fine art. SUPPORT also provided means for art enthusiasts to virtually visit artist’s studios (featuring an artist a day), to learn more about their processes and works, and even make purchases.
Samuels and Tucker say that their latest endeavor – Proximity – was culled from people from all over the world who were coming up with creative ways to inspire and rally others, including the Italians singing songs of hope from their balconies. Therefore, it was time to take the leap from the internet to the real world.
Samuels and Tucker hope that the power of art and creativity along with the whimsy of the installations will lift people up and convey a sense of togetherness during these challenging times.
“Although we’re forever grateful for the internet, and the many wonderful online and virtual exhibitions and experiences, we miss the opportunity to see work in person. Art connects people,” Samuels explains.
The curated installations will mostly be viewable in the city of Buffalo, but some of the works will extend as far away as West Falls.
Highlights of the installation proposals include:
- Giant neon papier-mâché ants crawling up a house
- A maze made of endless felt “snakes” and tree branch “ladders”
- A mesmerizing sculpture that features 25 moving bicycle wheels in the shape of a heart
- A projection project with projected plant imagery after dusk
The full list of participating artists includes Kari Achatz, Bruce Adams, Nando Alvarez- Perez, Monica Angle, Jozef Bajus, Amanda Besl, Kristin Brandt, Linda Collignon, David Fernan, Mark McLoughlin, Jody & Parker Hanson, Evan Hawkins, Ani Hoover, Cheryl Jackson, Christopher M Kameck, Bethany Krull, Stacey Lechevet, Casey Milbrand, Bill Santen, Kathleen Sherin, Sarah Field Sonnenberg, Colleen Toledano, and the artist duo known as virocode (Andrea Mancuso and Peter D’Auria).
Samuels and Tucker are now beginning the process of uploading an online program and downloadable map that will be available in days to come. All participants and locations will be listed on Resource:Art’s website.
The exhibition will open on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10, and will run for one week (possibly longer if Mother Nature cooperates).