Many galleries and theaters in Western New York are now shuttered-up tight for the holidays, their caretakers taking a brief reprieve before diving into the a busy new year of exhibitions and events.
But for those whose holidays are in need of an art injection, there's no need to fear. Plenty of engrossing exhibitions remain accessible, from heavy-hitting projects at the Albright-Knox to quieter glimpses of snow and sun in CEPA Gallery. For those visiting family (and/or hoping to escape), here are a few highlights of what's on offer:
CEPA Gallery (617 Main St.) features an engrossing exhibition of telescopic photographs of the sun by Alan Friedman paired with perfect, crystalline portraits of snowflakes by Douglas Levere. Together, they form a fascinating dichotomy between hot and cold, microscopic and telescopic. Also at CEPA is an exploration of the H.H. Richardson Complex by a number of local photographers and a solo exhibition by mixed-media artist Liz Lessner.
In the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave., you can explore the mystical and musical world of Charles E. Burchfield in "Mystic North: Burchfield, Sibelius and Nature" or delight in the more tactile pleasures of the excellent "Art in Craft Media" show, featuring everything from gigantic balls of colored yarn to David Lynch-inspired living room tableaux. Upstairs, some engrossing cultural selections from the recently acquired Spong collections provide fodder for the imagination, as do Coni Minneci's meticulous still life oil paintings of pears, "A-Z: An Historical Survey of Women Artists."
Across the street, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.) offers a dizzying tour through the story of modernity with its expertly curated show "Monet and the Impressionist Revolution," which traces a line from Courbet to Picasso and far beyond. If you're too cool for the Impressionists, try the more austere "Looking at Tomorrow: Light and Language from the Panza Collection," in which some minimalist sculptures and other works become projection screens for the imagination.