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Arts beat: Going to galleries, cool jazz for cold nights, and goodbye 'Golden Girls'

Yes yes yes we know. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is cocooning for a couple of years so it can emerge as a bigger, even more dazzling butterfly. But that does not mean this is now a city without art.

And winter is a wonderful time to enjoy what all the area's other galleries have to offer in climate-controlled comfort. Let's face it,  nobody controls climate as well as galleries that want to protect the integrity of their art.

Starting with a smile, works enjoying "Humor in the Arts" are now on display in the Carnegie Art Center (240 Goundry St., North Tonawanda). Sculpture, paintings and drawings show how an artistic temperament doesn't always mean having a temper. Along with more conventional contemporary and traditional art, the show includes pieces by two Pulitzer Prize winners — former Buffalo News editorial cartoonist Tom Toles and the News' current cartoonist, Adam Zyglis. 

There also are cartoons by David Corbett and works by a host of others, including Bruce Adams, Sandra Bartz, John Entwistle, Candace Keegan Masters and Michael Margulis.

The show went up Dec. 21 but you didn't miss the opening reception. It will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 9 and the exhibit continues through Jan. 24. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Watercolors and 'Open Waters'

There always is something interesting at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.), and sometimes those interesting things are also provocative. That's the case with the current exhibit "Open Waters," a multimedia show in the gallery's Project Space that focuses on the troubling effects humans are having on the world's oceans and waterways.

The collaborative work by poet Judith Goldman of the University at Buffalo; visual artist Andrea Wollensak and computer scientist Bridget Baird, both of Connecticut College, and composer Brett Terry shows how the once-elusive Northwest Passage through the frozen arctic is now becoming a reality with ocean melting, and combines it with works illustrating the extensive plastic pollution in waters from the Great Lakes outward. Video, floor pieces, photos and poetry are used to make the artistic commentary. The exhibit is up through March 29.

Charles Burchfield's "Song of the Telegraph, 1917-52" is a watercolor on joined paper mounted on board. It is from the collection of William and Rose-Marie Shanahan.

A return to nature also was inspiring artist Charles E. Burchfield in the years 1943 to 1967, a period characterized as one of "Magical Rebirth" in the art center's series about the life and career of its namesake watercolorist. The center says that during this time Burchfield began creating larger, more complex works, even adding pieces on to previous paintings, all to "convey his rapturous vision of nature."

The exhibit gives local fans a chance to see Burchfield works from other galleries and private collectors, including some masterworks rarely available to the public. This show also is up through March 29. For hours and information about special events associated with the exhibits, go to burchfieldpenney.org.

Art in Allentown

Inspiration comes from the strangest places. Photographer Frani Evedon, a former teacher who lives in Colden, has created a new series of art by manipulating and reprinting MRIs and X-rays that were taken for her and her husband's medical care. They are now on view in El Museo gallery (91 Allen St.), through Jan. 4. The gallery says the images "process questions of physical impermanence and consciousness ... (with) the act of looking through the body becoming a way to see beyond it."

Also at El Museo: photos by West Texas native and University at Buffalo grad student Hope Mora, mostly taken in her hometown of Pecos, Texas. Mora uses a documentary style of portraiture to "reveal the gaps between us and what we see."

The third artist in the show is sketch artist Joshua Nickerson of North Buffalo, who switched from painting to drawing on paper, capturing light as it scatters the shape of landscapes, buildings and trees.

Followed by jazz in Allentown

Those who would like to ease the old year out in the company of good music and interesting art can stop by Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.) to hear the Music of Charlie Parker on Dec. 26. Bob Sneider and Matt Michaud on guitar, Paul LaDuca on bass and drummer Carmen Intorre entertain from 8 to 11 p.m.; admission is $10.

The same cover and showtimes apply the next two nights. The Jacob Jay/Dalton Sharp Quintet performs the Music of Chet Baker Dec. 27. Joining the group will be singer Carmen Mastrantonio. Then, Dec. 28, saxophonist Elliott Scozzaro takes the stage.

This also is the closing week for the "Self and Sustanance" art show featuring works by painter and printmaker Talia Ryan, who explores devotion and spiritualism in her work.

Two farewells

If you don't have a ticket now you might be out of luck to see "Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes — Holiday Edition," which has been making things bright for audiences in the Alleyway's Cabaret Theatre since Dec. 5. The comic drag homage to the popular 1980s TV show closes Dec. 28, and there is a wait list in case tickets become available, at alleyway.com.

But, if you are on Main Street anyway for ice skating at Rotary Rink (free, but you can also rent skates) or working through the holidays, this is your last chance to see the photographs of "Odyssey: Warriors Come Home," the exceptional art project on display in CEPA Gallery on four levels of the Market Arcade Building (617 Main St.) The images by combat veterans show the challenges of coming home after battle; the show was written about in The News and in the New York Times.

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