Friday night was Curtain Up!, the annual celebration that launches Buffalo's theater season in high style and festive spirits.
This year, CEPA Gallery, located in the heart of the Theater District in the historic Market Arcade, was part of the celebration. Friday night was the reception for the gallery's season opener, a big, sprawling exhibition called, rather dauntingly, "Images in a Post-Photographic Age."
The show consists of work by 11 artists from across the nation, including Buffalonians Tyrone Georgiou and Beverly Johnson. This wealth of visual material was on display in all the CEPA exhibition spaces -- upstairs where there is both a standard gallery and a Passageway Gallery right in the public area; on the main floor; in its expansive and well-appointed Underground Gallery in the basement; and out on the street in a storefront "gallery."
Judging by the range of attire on the guests -- everything from tuxedos to jeans to someone dressed mostly in tattoos -- the reception attracted people from both the art and theater crowds. Most of the art -- some of it indeed challenging -- offered at least one thing that most everyone can relate to: it was all digitally composed. The point of the exhibition is to demonstrate the vigor of photo-based art made by these new electronic means.
The art ranges from familiar collage-like pieces -- scissorless, no doubt -- to extreme deformations of the human body and face that only a computer program could manage with such seamlessness. There are iris prints (images printed on ink-jet printers), manipulated photographs and pieces consisting entirely of text (another thing the computer is good at).
Participating artists are Paul Berger, Kimberly Burleigh, Michael Ensdorf, Susan Evans, Matt Gainer, Martina Lopez, Rachel Schreiber, Susan Silton, Georgiou, and Johnson. Also on view is a retrospective of the work of William Larson, who has been working in electronic imaging for 30 years. In addition there was a special exhibition: A series of portraits by onetime Buffalonian Kevin Noble called "Irish Republicans, Ireland and America."
The exhibition, along with associated projects situated at various public sites, will remain on view through Dec. 17.