With an estimated 23,000 vacant homes, the city of Buffalo is in no danger of outgrowing its footprint. And while it's generally agreed that most of those structures must come down, the methods for doing so have been hotly debated. Buffalo ReUse, an environmental advocacy group that tries to salvage materials by deconstructing homes rather than demolishing them outright, has found a clever avenue for some of the material they're charged with routing away from area landfills. The organization claims to have diverted more than 30 tons of refuse from landfills and salvaged 10 tons of usable lumber, but it's also using deconstructed materials to make a profound statement.
In a show called Buffalo ReArt, 18 area artists have attempted to reassemble the detritus of our consumer culture into objets d'art. In essence, these pieces are storytelling devices, each addressing in its unique way the city's illustrious past, present and uncertain future. Works from artists Gerald Mead, Richard Rockford, Dorothy Fitzgerald and Dennis Maher all have plenty of space to breathe at Gallery 141B (141B Elmwood Ave.), and they range from painted shutters to curious amalgamations of wood and twisted metal.
The show has its closing reception at 5 p.m. Saturday and runs through Sunday. For more information, call 474-4001.
-- Colin Dabkowski