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It's easy to forget that one of the world's great natural wonders sits casually rumbling in our own backyard. Sometimes we need artists to remind us of the wonders around us that remain hidden in plain sight. Through their peculiar filters, something as familiar as The Falls can become strange and wondrous again. The bifurcated waterfall has always held a mysterious …

Art

To get to the Festival of Lights at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, follow the star. The star shines in Lewiston, at the corner of Swann and Creek Roads. Turn when you see it, head down Swann, and drive for a little bit. There is no missing it, trust me. When I made the trip, on a Monday at around 6 p.m., it was dark, and snow was swirling. I worried I'd missed it, when -- …

Niagara County

Before he quit his corporate job, when he was just developing his woodworking skills with a scroll saw and some homemade designs, Rayekwiratkyehná:we:k Robert D'Alimonte named his business Tuscarora WoodWorks. "I thought 'woodworks' was a wide enough net that it would always encompass what we do, so that name would always apply,' he said, sitting in his workshop. "I fig…

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If you're feeling overwhelmed by the physical, mental and financial demands of the season -- and few of us aren't -- there's a cheap supply of stress relief in abundant supply this time of year. It comes in the form of exhibitions in area galleries and museums, many of which remain open during this holiday week to provide intellectual nourishment to the exhausted masses…

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NIAGARA FALLS -- After eight years of planning, plenty of controversy and more than $600,000, Niagara Falls has installed its first major piece of public art in decades. The piece – long delayed by planning, funding and installation issues – is meant to mark the 100th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty between America and Canada in 2009. But it has been greeted w…

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Loriene Bridgett moved to Buffalo in January with big dreams and a small budget. The Brooklyn native, eager to start a new life after surviving a bus accident in 2015, settled into an apartment near East Delavan Avenue and Grider Street to begin her job search. But she soon learned her prospects were bleak: Without a car, Bridgett couldn’t reach the suburban customer se…

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The latest round of grants from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council will fund a wide range of cultural projects, ranging from major renovations of cultural destinations in Erie and Niagara counties to new part-time positions at smaller theaters and galleries. The grants, announced on Thursday, are part of $68.8 million distributed to groups around…

Art

The two prime events sold out for this weekend could not be more different: Every Time I Die's holiday show at Buffalo RiverWorks, which The News just highlighted as a surging multi-purpose venue, and the commissioning of the U.S.S. Little Rock LCS 9 on Saturday at Canalside. Fortunately, there's still plenty on Buffalo's event agenda. 1) Kerfuffle Before Christmas: …

Art

In the center panel of a triptych by Buffalo painter Rodney Taylor sits a stout little cabin surrounded by a huddle of scorched trees. The cabin belongs to a slave, Taylor explained. And it appears to be on fire. The first panel in the triptych depicts a dark and foreboding patch of woods, through which a visitor would presumably have to travel on his way to the cabi…

Art

Many artists work their entire careers to create work that connects to some elemental part of their psyche. Daniel Maysonet and Jim Bilger do so almost as a matter of instinct, eschewing filters, fuss and artifice to create paintings that directly reflect their questions and concerns about the world. If one goal of art is to highlight the infinite complexity and unpr…

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Every family has an aesthete hanging around somewhere -- maybe down in the basement painting a portrait, maybe up in the attic flipping through "Art in America." Fortunately for these TV-eschewing, non-sports-loving fringe figures we all know and love, 2017 has been a fine year for writing on culture. This is especially true at a time when culture is changing at an unpr…

Art

WASHINGTON – Joel Markowitz convened a conference call in March with his five brothers. Only one of them, Bruce, knew why. Joel had been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a degenerative neurological disease with no cure. After soberly informing them all of his illness, he let it be known that he wouldn’t, in the face of a cruel fate, abandon his wr…

Art

1) SantaCon Buffalo, 1:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 in 11 bars in the downtown Buffalo area, mostly on Chippewa. Cost is $11.54 online or $10 in-person at D'Arcy McGee's or VENU. Must be 21+ to take part. Commentary: Few sights scream "the holidays" like hundreds of Santas frolicking around the Chippewa District, bouncing jovially from bar to bar. Each costumed Santa is asked to…

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Among regional museums, the Burchfield Penney Art Center has distinguished itself by casting an unusually wide net. Since shortly after the time of its founding more than 50 years ago, the center has been driven by the philosophy of its namesake -- one that finds artistic potential in hidden places, or hidden in plain sight. This idea is very much at play in "Stay Go…

Art

1) Polar Plunge, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 at Woodlawn Beach State Park (3580 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell). Minimum fundraising amount is $100; further details here. Commentary: The annual Special Olympics New York fundraiser is both a duel with the elements and a rousing good time. One of the day's highlights is a costume contest - the competition is stiff, often both lit…