Adjacent to Buffalo’s cultural corridor and located at 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Red Disk and BAM! are prime examples of when art and commerce combine to amplify the talents of fine artists. Both organizations have made it their mission to highlight the value in bringing local art into people’s homes, thus paving the way for a new model to the business of art in Buffalo.
Since the official opening of their 4,000 square foot art gallery back in December 2020, BAM! has continuously lived up to its focus of providing an exhibition space for local artists. And just down the hall in suite 217, Red Disk’s team of artisan printmakers design and produce print to order micro-runs of hand silkscreened wallpaper inspired by original works of art, including designs created by Charles E. Burchfield.
“Our collection is bound by our artists and their stories, their inspirations, emotions and experiences that compelled them to create,” said Traci Ackerman, Founder of Red Disk. “Some designs may speak to you, some may not, but the ones that do become part of your story and shared with those invited into your spaces.”
During their opening weekend, Buffalo Art Movement (BAM!) will feature local artists Kristin Brandt, Michael Constantine and Jillian Taylor, whose works are available for purchase. In addition to the featured artists, BAM! is hosting a collection of works that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, just in time for Pride month.
“It’s important for us to be able to document an artist during the course of their creative process and share that with others,” said Joseph Babcock, creative director at BAM!. “Ultimately we want our guests to experience the stories that inspire our exhibiting artists and to walk away with a deeper appreciation for the quality of art in Buffalo.”
With the lift of COVID restrictions across New York State, visitors to BAM! and Red Disk are encouraged to plan their visit.
Exhibition dates for “Reflections” featuring artists Kristin Brandt, Jillian Taylor and Michael Constantine are May 21 – July 2.
Pierce-Arrow Commerce Park, 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 716-939-2445Vuffa
Informed by her relationship between art and meditation, Kristin Brandt invites us to acknowledge the collective consciousness within movement and the abstract. She illustrates the parallels between mind and matter, substance and attribute, potentiality and actuality, to create lyrical movements of form and scale. While her canvas explores the evocations of feelings, memories, or images to the conscious mind, Kristin’s “mass” is a tribute to the fragments that constitute our collective existence.
Guided by observations of life in motion, Jillian Taylor’s gestural brush strokes piece together memories of family and nature. “Haven” is an ode to Jillian’s love for painting and the sanctuary she finds within her palette. Whether it is a landscape painted plein-air, or portraits and figures, Jillian’s thickly painted canvas expresses the beauty and bliss behind the simple moments we sometimes take for granted.
In “On grieving…,” Michael Constantine examines the stages of grief in reaction to his experience with racism and trauma. As a continuation of his emotional journey, “Pretty Thoughts” takes us through the anatomy of coping with anxiety. Michael creates dreamlike works to escape the wounds of unpleasant realities induced by societal pressures of race and identity.
Queer artists have been present in Western New York for more than a century. LGBTQ+ voices have been whispered from the closet, shouted in response to cataclysmic events (i.e., Stonewall riots, AIDS pandemic, ACT UP movement, etc.) and affirmed when gaining some degree of acceptance in parts of western society. The acceptance of LGBTQ+ people has never been universal. Moreover, queer people continue to suffer from rejection, discrimination, harassment, imprisonment and violence, stressing the need for an increase in advocacy and education to promote acceptance.
Growing up queer is difficult, even in accepting environments. We all go through a process of confusion, shame, fear, acceptance, courage and pride that eventually defines who we are and how we fit into the world. Alexander Leon summarizes the sentiment that many LGBTQ+ people have felt during their forming years: “Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimize humiliation and prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us and which parts we’ve created to protect us.”
In collaboration with Gerald Mead, artist and collector, Buffalo Art Movement is proud to pay homage to queer artists from WNY who throughout history have created a body of work that visibly represents the LGBTQ+ identity. The significance of their work continues to pave the road for a new generation of queer artists that will further enhance the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to the art world. The works featured have been presented in renowned art galleries, collected around the world, and has been included in the permanent collection of museums such as The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, The Burchfield Penney Art Center, Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Artists featured: Steve Ardo, Eric Bellman, Edward Bisone, Annie Crawford, Jack Edson, Keith Gemerek, Brandon Giessmann, Jim Goodrich, Jeremiah Goodman, Anthony Peter Gorny, Amy Greenan, Andrew Hershey, Thomas Matyas, Scott McCarney, Dana McKnight, Tommy Nguyen, Alice O’Malley, Joe Radoccia, Paul Rybarczyk, Joseph Scheer, Clara Sipprell, Peter Stephens, C. J. Szatkowski, Gerry Szymanski, Adam Weekley and Joe Ziolkowski.
Buffalo Art Movement (BAM!) supports the development and works of emerging and established artists in Western New York. As an exhibition space and art incubator, we strive to foster collaboration among artists, patrons, students, galleries and art institutions within our community. We are a space free of commercial, political, religious, socioeconomic and ethnic bias, where ideas and new voices are celebrated. Our vision is to provide a platform for local artists to flourish beyond the borders of WNY.
What began as a journey to honor art and history, evolved into a growing portfolio of designs inspired by original works of art. The Red Disk collection blends the historic wallpapers designed nearly 100 years ago by Charles E. Burchfield with artworks currently created by artists today. Every roll of wallpaper is hand silkscreened by artisans in Buffalo, New York with high quality materials that are kind to our environment. Red Disk was created to make fine art more accessible.