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!

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

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
    Work by 12 NYFA MARK artists
    74 Allen Street
  • Nest Interiors
    Work by Sandra Bartz
    68 Allen Street

A complete list can be found at

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

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by Ed Healy

burchfieldgrainelevatorsDespite the fact that the museum occupied cramped quarters for the first forty years of its existence, the Burchfield Penney Art Center is legendary for its exhibition openings – arty parties packed with lovers of good food, fine wine and painting, photography and multimedia installations. This past Friday was no exception and, in fact, featured an even larger crowd than those of the recent past since the BPAC has now moved into a new 84,000 square foot home. Designed by New York’s Gwathmey Siegel Associates, this new space was designed to not only show off the best of Buffalo’s vibrant visual arts scene, but to accommodate throngs of art loving patrons intent on having a good time. Much of the second floor of the museum was designed with large gatherings in mind and even features a huge balcony overlooking Elmwood Avenue and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. This space is warm, inviting and has a great view — so it’s no surprise that art lovers are attracted to it and the programming going on within.

The occasion for Friday’s opening was an exhibit of Burchfield’s sketches and paintings entitled “Charles Burchfield: The Romance of Urban Decay.” Like his contemporary Edward Hopper, Burchfield, at least in the early part of his career, was a poet of ordinary, everyday American reality. His subject matter in this instance includes grain elevators along the Buffalo River, wood frame houses in the Allentown district, the once lively commercial strip along Genesee Street and an enchanting portrait of the Electric Tower, the former home of Niagara Mohawk. While much of Buffalo’s urban fabric has been altered, much remains and it’s fascinating to make a mental inventory of the passage of time in these very familiar landscapes. Visitors to the exhibit will also find much to hold their attention in the notes Burchfield made as he sketched in the field. He was a dedicated diarist and talented writer and the exhibit allows you to look over his shoulder, a witness to the creative process of an artist of the highest caliber.

Friday night’s opening also featured a concert by Ronny Whyte and Boots Malestrom in the Burchfield’s new auditorium. This gorgeous and acoustically pristine space was filled to capacity and seems to have very quickly found a place as a must-see performance venue in a city filled with them.

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by Doug Sitler

brodo1One of my favorite activities in Buffalo is attending a Friday evening art opening and then enjoy a nice dinner in one of the city’s amazing restaurants.

Last Friday I did exactly that, as I grabbed my friend and we headed over to the new Burchfield Penney Art Center for the opening of the intriguingly-titled “20,000 Crickets” exhibition. The arts center was abuzz with hundreds of art patrons sifting through the incredible gallery space – a scene that emphatically states that Buffalo is a major arts city. While there are numerous exhibits simultaneously hanging in the center at any one time, last week’s event was to celebrate the opening of “20,000 Crickets” – an interesting, walk-through installation that brings you into undetected world of bugs.

After the Burchfield Penney opening, we traveled down Elmwood Avenue to a cozy little restaurant called Brodo. We sat at a table in the raised section of the restaurant, which gave us a vantage point over-looking the colorfully decorated establishment. I heard from friends this place was known for their soup, but we elected to go another route. From the appetizer of Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Asiago on a Toasted Pita, to our entrees of Pan Seared Salmon and Filet Mignon, the food was delicious. The dinner was accompanied with a bottle of Red Hook Shiraz and a waiter who was attentive, but not overbearing. If you are looking for a quiet dining experience, filled with delectable offerings, Brodo on Elmwood Avenue is certainly a place worth visiting.

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