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On Aug. 13, the leaders of two small Buffalo cultural groups received an email announcing that each had won a surprise $30,000 grant from the New York City-based Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.“It is not junk mail, it is not a hoax,” the email promised. “Your community believes you do good work and we want to recognize it with unrestricted support for the next three …

Merging visual art and sports has always been a tricky but tantalizing proposition.It can come off as a half-baked audience-building ploy, like the 2010 Albright-Knox Art Gallery show about the Buffalo Sabres that tried to pass off beautiful promotional photographs as profound conceptual art. Or, like the current show “Art of Sport” running in CEPA and Big Orbit galler…

Merging visual art and sports has always been a tricky but tantalizing proposition.It can come off as a half-baked audience-building ploy, like the 2010 Albright-Knox Art Gallery show about the Buffalo Sabres that tried to pass off beautiful promotional photographs as profound conceptual art. Or, like the current show “Art of Sport” running in CEPA and Big Orbit galler…

Many local fans of the watercolorist Catherine Parker, who died last year after a long and successful painting career, are familiar with her shimmering streetscapes and backyard scenes that probe the hidden beauty of everyday experiences. But they may not be familiar with the work she painted while living in the Southwest, before returning to her native Western New York in…

Buffalo artists Susie Kelly Flatau and Thom Neill have teamed up to mount “ALTARd,” a group exhibition in 1045 Gallery (1045 Elmwood Ave., formerly ZGM Gallery) that explores shifting identity through the arts.The show, which opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday and runs through Nov. 3, features abstract painting by Flatau, photography by Neill and several mixed med…

For the past several years, I have rarely missed an opportunity to point out that the Buffalo Niagara region is in the midst of a period of stunning cultural growth.The amount of art and theater-related activity in and around Buffalo, judging only by the crude measure of Gusto listings, has nearly doubled since 2000. A new theater company or gallery seems to open every few…

Dozens of students, teachers and school administrators gathered Thursday morning in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery auditorium to celebrate the culmination of a regionwide project to fight bullying through the arts.The program, “Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope,” included more than 500 students and 18 teachers from middle schools and high schools across Western New York…

There was something uncommonly quiet about the career of Kenneth Price, the late West Coast artist whose vaguely organic sculptures are finally receiving their due as some of the most important of the post-World War II era.That’s why Albright-Knox chief curator Douglas Dreishpoon titled his exhibition of Price’s works on paper “Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Rac…

The Western New York Book Arts Center began its lifein 2008 as a beautiful contradiction in the heart of a hollowed-out city block.The center, dedicated to preserving and teaching the art of traditional printing and book-making, was designed as an oasis of analog culture in an increasingly digital world. It also was a declaration of faith in the cultural renewal of downtow…

The 32nd Curtain Up! celebration opened Buffalo’s dynamic and varied theater season in typically grand fashion Friday on a night that also honored Buffalo-born playwright A.R. Gurney.Theater leaders and arts supporters – many adorned in black tuxes and glitzy gowns – gathered under a big tent on the 700 block of Main Street to attend a gala dinner before heading off …

The 32nd Curtain Up! celebration opened Buffalo’s dynamic and varied theater season in typically grand fashion Friday on a night that also honored Buffalo-born playwright A.R. Gurney.Theater leaders and arts supporters – many adorned in black tuxes and glitzy gowns – gathered under a big tent on the 700 block of Main Street to attend a gala dinner before heading off …

Bullies, as area students are all too aware, are capable of sending their victims to incredibly dark places. What hope those victims have of escaping that emotional trauma and coming back into the light is often tied directly to the therapeutic effects of self-expression. That is to say, art.This is one of the motivating ideas behind “Healing Hearts: From Hurt to Hope,…

What does fine art have to do with sports?Viewed up close, the idea that a Bills game might have anything in common with what’s hanging on the walls of the Albright-Knox, for instance, probably seems absurd to many.But zoom out a little, as a new CEPA Gallery show “The Art of Sport” is asking us to do, and you see that sports and art are really just slight variations…

On May 2, 2012, after years of discussion and debate, a group of city officials narrowly defeated an unpopular proposal to use public funding to build a massive building with huge name recognition on a prime piece of waterfront land.Sound familiar?But the project in question was not a Bass Pro store in Buffalo, N.Y.; it was a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki, Finland.And much…

When the sun sets on Silo City, casting an Instagram-friendly glow over the mammoth concrete grain elevators that dot the complex, a towering new metal sculpture at the edge of the site comes shimmering to life.The curved wall, made from remarkably thin sheets of stainless steel and resembling nothing so much as a set piece from the latest “Transformers” movie, was com…