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Arts Beat: Art to think and talk about; a midwinter 'Midsummer Night's Dream'

Just a reminder that the Albright-Knox, which has shuttered its main Elmwood Avenue galleries until 2022 for construction, is opening its new Northland exhibition and activity space (612 Northland Ave.), with a free open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 17. More activities are on  Jan. 18, which will have "pay-what-you-wish" admission.

The first show in the venue, a repurposed and long vacant former industrial site, is "Domestic Thresholds," with works by artists Heather Hart, Edra Soto and Rodney Taylor.

CEPA Gallery (617 Main St.) also finds art in things made for other purposes with its environmentally aware new exhibition "For Future Generations: A Plastic Pollution Study of Lake Erie." Through photography and sculpture, artist Alexis Oltmer make an artistic statement about stewardship of waterways, centered on Emerald Beach at the mouth of the Buffalo River. Over three years, Oltmer photographed plastics and other man-made debris left or washed up on the beach, then cleaned the beach of the pollution. She also collected data about what she found there and shared it with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The show opens with a reception from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Jan. 17, and remains up through Feb. 15. Also opening at CEPA at that same time are the 2020 CEPA Gallery Members' Exhibit and "Tuscarora," photography by Mark Williams, this year's solo exhibition winner for the gallery. Williams says his unposed images are meant to provide a brief insight into life on the Tuscarora Reservation.

Talking about Richard Huntington

Artist and former Buffalo News art critic Richard Huntington is the subject of the "Talk the Talk" lecture at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in Hallwalls (341 Delaware Ave.). Bruce Adams, who shares a studio with Huntington, will talk about his friend's career as an artist, teacher, critic and writer. Huntington, who now divides his time between homes in Buffalo and Mexico, wrote about art for The News from 1985 until his retirement in 2007.

Irish Classical Theatre and the BPO will collaborate on "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Brendan Didio as Puck, left, and Vincent O’Neill as Oberon. (Photo courtesy of Gene Witkowski)

Irish Classical, BPO collaborate

Expect a magically mischievous experience in Kleinhans Music Hall when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performs Felix Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with actors from Irish Classical Theatre Company providing the Shakespeare parts.

Young lovers find romance can take Puck-ish turns when it collides with fairy royalty and mysterious potions, providing us with the Bard's famous observation of "what fools these mortal be."

Even more famous is the "Wedding March" provided by Mendelssohn when he set the adventure to music. JoAnn Falletta conducts the BPO; Fortunato Pezzimenti directs the actors who will enjoy a stage turned into a Grecian forest. The Women’s Choir of Buffalo, with conductor Kathleen Bassett, also will perform.

It has been nearly 15 years since the BPO presented this event, which will have three performances in Kleinhans: 8 p.m. Jan. 17 and 18 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 19. Tickets start at $39 (box office,

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