Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News
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Colin Dabkowski

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Colin Dabkowski is The News' arts critic, responsible for covering visual art and theater in Western New York. Before joining The News in 2007, he worked as managing editor of McSweeney's oral history book series in San Francisco and as a freelance journalist in New Orleans.

A crew at Artpark in Lewiston has put the finishing touches on its re-creation of a 1979 painting that was hailed at the time as the largest in the world. The piece, by Gene Davis, occupies an entire parking lot and features laser-straight lines painted in pastel colors. The piece features 60 lines, each two feet wide, that run for 364 feet across the parking lot. It wa…

In late 2013, the Raíces Theatre Company returned to Buffalo's theater scene after a 10-year absence with a production of Carmen Rivera's play "La Gringa." It was a resounding success that registered deeply with Buffalo's Latino community, whose members had long been hungering to see their lives and experiences represented onstage. Since then, Raíces' reach has e…

As pedestrians approach the University at Buffalo's soon-to-be-completed Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from the west, a flash of color cuts through the construction dust swirling around the $375 million building. Viewed through the windows of the newly renovated Allen-Medical Campus subway station on the ground floor of the new building, that small …

The Buffalo sports world rarely intersects with the city's theater scene. For the most part, the theatrics that play out at New Era Field appeal to a different audience than those you might find at Shea's Performing Arts Center or the Irish Classical Theatre Company. But those worlds met on May 17 during the first rehearsal of Road Less Traveled Productions' origin…

So you think you know "Shark Girl"? The sculpture by Cincinnati-based artist Casey Riordan Millard is one of the most talked about, and almost certainly the most photographed, piece of public art in the history of Buffalo. Its appearance at Canalside in 2013 was met with the kind of enthusiasm Buffalonians generally reserve for quarterbacks or goalies. She has frequentl…

Buffalo artist and curator Dana Saylor is suing Artvoice for unpaid artist fees stemming from the weekly newspaper's 25th anniversary party in 2015. Saylor's claim, which will be heard in Buffalo City Court on June 8, seeks payment of about $3,800 she says Artvoice founder and editor Jamie Moses withheld from her and 17 other artists after a disappointing tu…

Jim Pritchard and Gary Rouleau, co-directors of North Tonawanda's Riviera Theatre, were relieved of their duties Tuesday night by the theater's board of directors. Pritchard and Rouleau both confirmed the firings, which happened during the monthly board meeting at the theater. "All I can say is we were informed last night that we were apparently not generating enough…

Subtlety is not in the repertoire of Bread and Puppet Theater. The socially radical company thrives on critiquing the political order of the moment. Which makes this as good a time as any to see how the company turns the machinations of politics into art. Buffalo audiences will have a chance to take in the company's trademark aesthetic on May 23, when the troupe per…

Buffalo's art-world glitterati, if there is such a thing, has rarely gone out of its way to visit Bailey Avenue. But increasingly, there are exceptions. The Bailey Fights Blight initiative has decorated derelict storefronts and other spots along the avenue in recent years. A new, retina-burning, neon green mural by Team Razor Wire now adorns the south and west sides of…

Few musicals in the past quarter-century have inspired a more passionate reaction from young fans than "Wicked," which makes its fourth visit since 2008 to Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.) starting May 17. The show's appeal has something to do with Stephen Schwartz's addictive melodies, which range from frothy musical comedy pastiches ("Popular") to high-oc…

In October of 2015, a few dozen Buffalo artists and curators huddled in the community room of Buffalo Arts Studio to discuss diversity and elitism in the art world. Most panel discussions on these topics are preach-to-the-choir affairs that rarely produce concrete action. This one was different. Buffalo Arts Studio curator Shirley Verrico and director Alma Carrillo g…

What exactly is the Indeterminacy Festival? Well, that's hard to determine. In fact, that's the concept behind the new and nebulous festival that will explore the notion of the unknown through hands-on workshops, screenings and performances inside a Silo City grain elevator. Organized by Buffalo artist Stanzi Vaubel, a PhD student in the University at Buffalo's m…

In a career that spanned half a century, Milton Rogovin made powerful portraits of hundreds of Buffalo residents at home, on city streets and in churches, factories and bars. Though few figures in the history of Western New York art loom larger than Rogovin, the famous documentary photographer's work has been difficult to find in Buffalo since his death in 2011. Th…

"Least Resistance," a play about opioid addiction drawn from the stories of Jamestown residents, has its final two performances May 5 and 6 in the Willow Bay Theatre. The show, created by mental health expert Steven Cobb and Jamestown playwright Richard Olson-Walter, emerged from Cobb's own recovery experience and eventually grew to include stories from other members of…

In the history of American modernism, few figures wielded more influence while collecting less credit than Mabel Dodge Luhan. A woman of eclectic tastes and eccentric habits, the Buffalo-born patron, tastemaker and bon vivant did for early American modernism what Gertrude Stein did for its European counterpart. Like many women who played major roles in American hi…