by Susan Braun

Looking for music and art events to get involved with this coming weekend, October 2-4? Well, here are some great ideas!

Music:
The much anticipated Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Opening Night Gala, “Ode to Joy”, will be held at Kleinhan’s Music Hall on October 3rd, 2009. The concert, which begins at 8:00 pm, will be preceded by an optional black tie event including drinks, hors d’ oeuvres and dinner! In the first half of the program, Music Director JoAnn Falletta, and the BPO will be joined by the world-renown violinist, Gil Shaham, in a performance of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. That will be followed by J. S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, featuring Mr. Shaham and his wife, Adele Anthony, a very accomplished violinist in her own right. After the intermission, the BPO and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will present Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for a grand finale. You may purchase tickets for either the Opening Gala, which includes the concert, or you may opt for the concert only. For more information about this and upcoming classical and pops concerts, go to www.bpo.org.

Art:
There will be plenty of art to see in Buffalo this weekend.

You can get your exercise and your visual arts fix on the evening of October 2nd by joining the Allentown First Fridays GalleryWalk when 16 venues with works by 50 artists will be open from 6 until 9 pm. This free monthly event brings people together to view art work, dine at great restaurants and visit local businesses in the Allentown area. Welcome to El Buen Amigo and Nest Interiors as new participants! Here’s a sampler of the galleries that will be open:

  • Betty’s (restaurant)
    Ilania Kaplan Stanger, paintings
    370 Virginia Street
    8am to 10pm
  • C. J. Jung Center
    Dianne Baker, “Transformations”
    Mixed Media Assemblages
    408 Franklin Street
    6-8pm—Artist Talk at 7pm
  • El Buen Amigo
    Latin American Cultural Association (LACA)
    Building Bridges to the Community
    Works by Nancy Richert, Brian Federick, Ann Miliken, Betsey Roshner and Dan
  • Mika
    114 Elmwood Avenue
    11am to 9pm with opening reception 7-9pm
  • Indigo
    “REMARKABLE”
    Work by 12 NYFA MARK artists
    74 Allen Street
    6-9pm
  • Nest Interiors
    Work by Sandra Bartz
    68 Allen Street
    3-9pm

A complete list can be found at www.allentownfirstfridays.ning.com.

The Burchfield Penney Art Center has devoted most of the gallery space to a wonderful exhibition entitled “Art in Craft Media”. This first craft biennial features works created by Western New York artists who use clay, metal, fiber, glass and wood, all media associated with the craft arts. You can view a wide range of works including such standouts as the “Coffee Cup Conveyor Belt” by Alicia Eggert, tongue-in-cheek embroideries on found objects by Lily Booth, fiber works by Nancy Belfer, disintegrating window screens by Andrea Marquis, beautiful wooden furniture including the “Scotch Cabinet” by Douglas Figler and a silver necklace by Suzanne Hofmeister that is included in a display of other works by Hofmeister and Temi Kucinski. To learn more about the Burchfield Penney Art Center and this exhibit, check out www.yournewburchfieldpenney.com.

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AKAG-hallway

by Doug Sitler

This summer the experience of walking down the rear hallway of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is simply jaw-dropping. For the lack of a more sophisticated phrase, it’s like strolling into the Hall-of-Fame of art, if there were such a thing. The first cluster in the quiet passageway feature names such as, Chagall, Dali, Gaugin, Matisse, Miro, Modigliani, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, and Van Gogh. You don’t even have to be an art expert to realize that those are some of the biggest names in the art world. What is equally interesting is that these paintings are displayed away from the more attentive main entrance…it’s almost as if the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is timid in showing the most acclaimed artists of the past 125 years.

Any gallery that features modern art would love to own just some works from this celebrated group of artists. Not here in Buffalo…as all these works are part of the Albright-Knox’s permanent collection. Depending on the exhibitions, you can pretty much guarantee that every visit to the gallery will produce an amazing encounter with the premier artistic talent of modern times. Within a few minutes of entering the gallery, you can understand why journalists and arts enthusiasts have proclaimed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery as being the home to one of the top contemporary art collections in North America.

Oh yeah, if those names above weren’t impressive enough, keep walking and you’ll be consumed by the larger-than-life painting “Convergence” by Jackson Pollock, or the fun and whimsical “Campbell Soup Cans” by Andy Warhol.

Just another day at the Albright Knox Art Gallery – in one of America’s top arts destinations.

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by Ed Healy

The Hunt Real Estate Art of Jazz Series at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is always a classic Buffalo experience. Seated in the ultra-modernist auditorium designed by Buffalo-born Gordon Bunshaft, a listener can be excused for being distracted by the surroundings. The glass walls to the right and left of the stage reveal bucolic Delaware Park on one side and the impressive architecture of Rockwell Hall and the Burchfield Penney Art Center across Elmwood Avenue on the other. The beauty just outside the walls imbues the space with a spirit that makes it among the most memorable in all of jazz. No wonder the series continues to attract the very best jazz musicians to Buffalo.

Used for lectures, film screenings, and other public events, the Gallery auditorium truly comes to life during the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon Art of Jazz concerts. Produced by local impresario Bruce Eaton, the series annually brings an exciting mix of contemporary and classic performers to Buffalo. This past Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing the post-modern jazz provocateurs Ted Nash and Odeon.

Saxophonist and clarinetist Nash leads a band featuring a violinist, accordion player and tuba player – a line-up that may be unique in all of jazz. This eclectic ensemble, along with a very talented and creative drummer, is both brainy and brawny, playing sophisticated, intricate arrangements of original compositions and more obscure standards while at the same time keeping things funky and fun. Highlights of Sunday’s set included the pulsing rhythms of the Brazilian “Tico Tico” and the Argentinean flavored “Tango Sierra.” The group’s innovative, rocking rendering of Duke Ellington’s “Amad,” from his “Far East Suite,” was Ellington for the 21st Century — playful, multi-textured and propelled with genuine fire.

The Albright-Knox is justly renowned for its world-class collection of modern and contemporary art, but it should also be recognized as the host of world-class cross-cultural programming like the Art of Jazz Series. The series continues on May 2nd with a special double bill featuring vocalist Kendra Shank and pianist Frank Kimbrough. For more information visit www.albrightknox.org.

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by Doug Sitler

convergenceAfter making a visit to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to view the newly installed Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976, I not only walked away learning about Abstract Expressionism, but left with a tremendous appreciation and admiration for the gallery’s permanent collection.

Our guide, chief curator Doug Dreishpoon Ph.D. said “To a great extent, this (exhibition) is what we are about. To the world, this (Abstract Expressionism) is what we are known for.”

This is the first major U.S. exhibition in twenty years to reconsider Abstract Expressionism and the art movement that followed. To a frequent visitor of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, it seemed at first that the exhibit showcases many of the important works from the gallery’s permanent collection – Jackson Pollock’s Convergence and Willem de Kooning’s Gotham News to name a few. I was told about 25 percent of this national exhibition actually consists of works owned by the Albright-Knox.

However, once you see the gallery’s feature pieces, next to other great works created by Rothko, Krasner, Oldenburg and Guston it hits you like a ton of bricks – the Albright-Knox Art Gallery cemented its place in art history back in the 1950s by having the guts and foresight to collect these works, quite often with the paint still wet on the canvas. Simply, Buffalo has been the home to Abstract Expressionism long before the importance of these artists were widely recognized.

The exhibition is broken up in four distinct areas: historical perspective on Abstract Expressionism, sculpture, paintings, and an exhibition of Buffalo’s role in the movement. There is a fantastic exhibition guide with something for everyone. From the serious art scholar to children, the guide provides tons of information and fun for all.

You have until June 10th to witness what Buffalo, New York and Abstract Expressionism mean to the art world. Visit www.albrightknox.org to learn more about this exhibition.