Think of it as an artists' Brigadoon: Once every year, an entire community of artistic expression appears in the rooms and hallways of a former high school in Medina (less than an hour north of Buffalo) for an experience known as "PLAY/GROUND." The creative explosion of immersive exhibits lasts only one weekend – this one.
For the second time, more than two dozen artists are taking part in what is becoming one of Western New York's most vibrant art happenings. PLAY/GROUND, the brainchild of the fine art curators of Resource: Art, begins with a preview party from 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 27, followed by two family-friendly days of exhibitions from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 and 29.
And then it disappears again, with tear down beginning at 5:01 p.m. Sept. 29.
Between, though, there is so much to see. According to the event's presenters, installations will be in every corner of the former school at 324 Catherine St., Medina, and the entire second floor will be turned into a multisensory art experience.
How the spaces are used depends on the artists. Tom Holt and Quincy Koczka of Buffalo are bringing 10 skateboarders to populate their installation, appropriately called "Rolling Thunder."
Nate Hodge of Brockport has designed a mural to cover a former locker room from floor to ceiling. Claire Ashley, who is from Chicago, is placing a 26-foot inflatable sculpture, "Celestial Boulders," in the gym.
"Wave and Shore" by Buffalo's Marquis Burton (aka 10,000) and Tara Sasiadek offers soft floor sculptures for visitors to relax, lie down and watch another installation overhead while listening to poetry.
Tickets for the 21-and-older preview party are $35 in advance, $45 at the door or $60/$80 for those wanting to take a shuttle bus to and from Medina, leaving at 6 p.m. from Buffalo's Hotel Henry, which will host a cocktail party before departure. The evening includes a special performance by Torn Space Theater and hors d'oeuvres and cash bar at the venue. Tickets can be picked up in advance at the hotel, in the Richardson Olmsted Campus on Elmwood Avenue.
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $10 at the door for adults, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Preview party ticket holders can also return for free. For preview tickets, more information and directions, go to artplaygroundny.com.