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Trimania returns with sprawling performances, infinite oddities

This may be the biggest rent party Buffalo has ever seen.

For seven hours on April 14, 54 local music acts will fill the Tri-Main Center's 525,000 square feet with every imaginable strain of music. Some 55 local artists will transform every corner of the six-floor former windshield-wiper factory into their own personal exhibition spaces.

Of course, there will be a roving group of artists challenging people to games of rock- paper-scissors in French. Of course, there will be a ukulele ensemble and a dozen dance troupes.

And of course, there will be food trucks, one of which is an art exhibition in disguise, from which local performer Ron Ehmke will dispense "experiences" instead of food.

"You might think you're ordering a sandwich," Buffalo Arts Studio curator Shirley Verrico said, "But you're not."

This year, organizers are planning the largest Trimania yet. Buffalo Arts Studio Executive Director Alma Carillo, during a short break from a frantic planning session last week, estimated that the event would feature some 170 individual performers.

Not content with record-setting quantity, organizers also endeavored to make the latest Trimania the most inclusive ever by reaching out to several other Buffalo arts organizations. To that end, there will be a space featuring exhibitions from Sugar City, ArtReach, Benjaman Galleries, Pine Apple Company and Revolution Gallery.

To promote the event, organizers also teamed up with local agency Twisted Rope to launch the app, "Trimania" (available from the Apple App Store and Google Play), that will help visitors navigate the offerings. To whet your appetite for the event, for which you are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines on April 14, here are five of the more interesting activities it features:

"Choose Yer Own AdvenTours": Starting at 8 p.m., Buffalo artist Ron Ehmke will join "countless co-conspirators" in offering, via food truck, "immersive/subversive experiences designed to take them on both literal and theatrical journeys through space and time."

"La Pierre Papierciseaux": At 9:15 p.m., this "French-based team" will start roaming the Trimain's hallways "interacting with as many people as possible." Those who encounter the troupe should "feel free to challenge them to a game of rock-paper-scissors."

Sparklebomb: At 8:45 p.m. in Sugar City's space in room 4H, this music-art-combo-act will use "synthesizers and drum machines to create a soundscape that can be equated to a funeral in outer space."

Chuck Tingley: Known to many for his work on Buffalo's "Freedom Wall" and his various murals, visitors will have the chance to check out Tingley's installation work in Buffalo Arts Studio. The work, Verrico writes, "combines childhood memories and contemporary culture in a way that disregards logical sequence in favor of a stream of consciousness format."

Tricia Butski and Patrick Foran live drawing: One of several live painting and drawing events, this duo of two of Buffalo's most gifted draftspeople will collaborate on a joint piece across five hours. Starts at 8 p.m. in the third floor hallway.

Art Preview

Trimania runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in and around the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main St. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. VIP tickets, which include a party from 6:30 to 8 p.m., are $50 or $80 for a pair. Visit trimania.com or call 833-4450.

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