A new installation by Western New York artist Terri Katz Kasimov was recently unveiled in the lobby of the Conventus Center for Collaborative Medicine, the newest addition to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The piece, called "The Journey... Coming Together," is an acrylic painting that stretches across 300 feet of crumpled canvas. It's accompanied by Kasimov's mixed-media collage "Construction... A Dream to Reality," made with construction debris and based, at least in part, on the life of the late Buffalo construction magnate Frank Ciminelli.
The project was overseen by University at Buffalo Art Galleries curator Bob Scalise.
In an email interview, Kasimov talked about some of the ideas behind the installation:
What was your inspiration?
The project manager of Conventus, Denise Juron-Borghese, called me in March of 2014 inquiring about this series of my work. They knew the type of work they wanted and the only request was to include the color “Ciminelli red.” Throughout the following year and a half we met numerous times and I was privileged to witness the building take form. Being there from the get-go was the true inspiration.
What's the meaning of the title?
Conventus is Latin for “coming-together." This painting lends itself to that movement. It is just short of the size of a football field when laid out flat. During the installation process the painting takes shape...
By “journey,” I meant watching this glorious building get built from the ground up through the seasons, seeing the architectural plans, hearing the stories, and also it was my personal journey of painting from early morning until late at night, fraying the edges of the canvas while waiting for the paint to dry… being in the moment and loving every moment.
How does it feel to contribute to the rebirth of Buffalo?
I’m proud! Many years ago I was honored to have been commissioned for numerous public artworks beginning with Theatre Place & The Tralfamadore Restaurant. More public art followed including the artwork for the new WNED building at Horizons Plaza. It’s been exciting to see, especially as a native of Niagara Falls and as a resident of the city of Buffalo. The Conventus building symbolizes for me a renaissance of this new, bold and thrilling Buffalo.