Sunday, February 12, 2017


Charles Clough
Burchfield Penney Art Center
Buffalo, New York

I am sure that I am not alone when I think that the pace of living today has increased considerably, and the nearly instantaneous mix we have with the media seems to be pushing us along.  Through social media we feed it everyday; news cycles speed up and maybe spell out requirements for what we can and can't do and that is partly why people are glued to their smart phones.  As a working artist and teacher, I can go into my studio and turn off all devices - focus on my work; but at the same time feel like I am missing something..

Steve Miller photographs 
at Nina Freudenheim Gallery

I am driven to work in my studio when I have time, and increasingly that creative moment has been sliced and diced.  Sometimes I have to drop everything and off I go down the turnpike, and on this day I run away to Buffalo.  I wanted to stop in to see the show at Nina Freudenheim Gallery on North Street but she was closed.  Her group show " Black and White" has a bunch of artists and photographers who I know including Steve Miller ( above ) and Amanda Means, but it was not happening, so I went up Elmwood to look at the shows in the Burchfield Penney Art Center, which happens to be one of my favorite stops in Buffalo, and I was not disappointed.

Jerome Witkin's portrait
Charles Rand Penney

Having always been a fan of Charles Burchfield's watercolors, I was pleased to be able to visit the galleries presenting the celebration of 50 Years at the Art Center.  There was a photograph of Burchfield at a ribbon cutting ceremony, and there is also a welcoming essay on the wall outlining why the Center is important to us and the implications of a vital cultural scene.  Each of us creates a piece of our culture, and Buffalo has a history of having a congenial atmosphere and support for the creatives that live in this city.  This is a tribute to the founders of institutions like the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and the Albright Knox Art Gallery right across the street.

Robert Longo
a sphere made up of copper bullets

At the Burchfield Center one can come across unusual things along with prints and paintings, and a room devoted to installations such as the one above.  Inside the show that celebrates 50 years at the Art Center, you can run across the dynamic Burchfield watercolor of  December Storm.

December Storm, by Charles Burchfield

The 50 Year Celebration is a massive show that includes photographic portraits of many of the working artists in the area by David Moog.  I also found upstairs a large canvas by Charles Clough that you can see at the top of this post.  This powerful painting is a big splash of color from an expressive artist who has been at it for many years, and deserves a wider audience.  Downstairs, I also found abstractions full of energy by Robert L. Flock, a painter who I was not familiar with.  The most valuable lesson that you might learn from this show is that it takes this concentration of artistic individuals to power a city like Buffalo in recent years, and the energy that radiates from the artwork is something we can admire, respect, and it makes our lives richer.

Artist portraits by David Moog
Celebration of 50 years at the Art Center

Walter Garver 
Burchfield Penney Art Center

Walk across Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, and you enter the Albright Knox Art Gallery, and what a collection that they have on view!  I was able to visit a few of my favorites from their collection , and then I had to go to work as a faculty member from R.I.T.  It was whirlwind tour, but I am so glad that I took the time to find this visual feast.

Jackson Pollock 
at The Albright Knox Art Gallery