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Old First Ward welcomes new exhibition space Paracosm Arts

Buffalo art fans disappointed over the closure of two popular art spaces -- the raw exhibition space at Hi-Temp Fabrication and the grassroots mecca 464 Gallery -- have a new reason to celebrate this week.

The Old First Ward, one of Buffalo-best loved neighborhoods, is about to welcome the city's newest visual arts space. Paracosm Arts, a project launched by visual artist and entrepreneur Tara Bystran Sasiadek, will open its doors on May 5 with a show featuring new work by Thomas Webb and Sean Madden.

The space is housed in the First Ward's Barrell Factory, a newly renovated business hub and events center at 65 Vandalia St. Each exhibition will feature a pairings between two visual artists, musicians or poets with an eye toward developing an artistic conversation across two different styles.

For the inaugural exhibition, called "Graphic Intercourse," Webb and Madden will be exhibiting new black-and-white work, including several collaborative pieces.

"The absence of color can actually be more expressive than color itself. I think ink relies more on texture and shape than a painting does," said Madden, a Rochester-based artist known for his brash and often psychedelic paintings that feature contorted figures, musical motifs and religious iconography. Webb's work, for his part, features a more understated drawing style and often incorporates natural elements.

Info: Paracosm Arts opens on May 5 with a talk from artists Thomas Webb and Sean Madden, along with musical performances. From 4 to 7 p.m. May 6, the space will feature an event a poetry and dance event connected to the exhibition. The show runs through May 27. Visit


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