Shane Dépree has always been known as a top-notch artist… in the world of hip-hop dance culture. As the founder of Verve Dance Studio, Dépree has spent a lifetime honing his craft, while sharing his experiences with others. Not only is he a masterful performer and educator, he is also a musician and painter. While many people are aware of his penchant for hip-hop culture, most don’t know of his prowess in the latter categories of music and art. That’s about to change.
On Friday, May 13, Box Gallery will be hosting an art opening and record release for Dépree. The event Subtle Shade – will be one of mixed emotions, as it also signals the artist’s departure from Buffalo – a city that has benefited exponentially via Dépree’s incredible devotion to the community that he has fervently served, and has come to represent. It is with heavy heart that I write these words, as it’s hard to even calculate how much good Dépree has done for Buffalo over the years. There will be a void without him, there is no doubt.
As with all artists, there is a time to dig in and do battles, and there is a time to take flight and explore. I hope that wherever his travels take him, others will appreciate his talents, grace, empathy, and humble humanity, as much as we have over the decades.
That said, let’s give Dépree a rousing sendoff this Friday, as we say goodbye to one of the good guys that has helped to mold Buffalo into the city that it is today.
From Dan Regan at Box Gallery:
On exhibition in the BOX gallery will be a closet clearing collection of Depree’s works throughout the years, spilling all the way out into the Backroom. As a painter, Depree indulges in acrylic on found objects as canvas. For the past several years he has been working on a series that circulates around a character, Mr. Boxling, who can be found throughout his work. This series taps on a graffiti style. Use of found everyday objects with a bright color palette and repetition evokes emotions centered around an urban African vibe tied into the influences of music and dance.
Complementing all of Depree’s overflowing visual art in the gallery will be an album release party for his long awaited record project, Late Bloomer. Primarily instrumental with synthesizers and drum machines produced in a DIY fashion, Depree creates music that dances between the genres of hip-hop and house, while incorporating hints of jazz, soul and funk.
The accompanying album release party in the Backroom will feature DJ Cutler on the 1s&2s spinning wax from 8 to late. A Buffalo based record collector, DJ, and turntablist, Cutler has been performing and recording since the late 1990s. A DJ who has had the honor of sharing stages with the likes of Biz Markie, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Bernard Purdie, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Pete Rock, Dr. Lonnie Smith, LL Cool J, DJ Muggs, Roy Haynes and many others along the way.
Subtle Shade will be on a limited run until May 22nd. For the superstitious (it’s Friday, the 13th), The Hostel will continue the weekend with another Backroom show on that following Saturday. Changing pace, the Backroom will feature performances by Wooden Cities expanded lineup playing music from John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, poetry from Kurt Schwitters arranged by Ethan Hayden, and joined by experimental solo banjo, Gouox, and a powerful lineup of Buffalo’s finest improvisers.
BOX Gallery is located within Hostel Buffalo & is committed to showing work by local artists further enriching & connecting the Hostel to the community.
Shane Depree | @shane_depree
@ BOX at Hostel Buffalo-Niagara | Gouox | Wooden Cities