Friday, February 23, 2007

The Other Side

I received my regular Hallwalls member newsletter e-mail, written by John Massier, today. They have a different view of the deacession at the Albright-Knox. I'm going to copy an excerpt here:
Crazy Carl Dennis turns to the Erie County Legislature
In a scene that was not quite Kafkaesque but nonetheless ludicrous, Ed Cardoni, Bruce Adams and myself attended a session of the Erie County Legislature, which had agreed to hear the grievance of the Buffalo Art Keepers against the Albright Knox and its deaccession plans—BAK hoping that the County would halt the impending sale. Representatives for the Albright spoke, as did Patrick Klinck and Carl Dennis. Cut to the chase: the legislature gave Dennis and Co. their day in the legislature but, wisely, deferred to the Albright’s long history of professionalism, not to mention the previous opinions about the institution as defined by ECCRAB (Erie County Cultural Resources Advisory Board), AND the lawyer for Erie County—who, interesting, pointed out that the County had no hand in creating the Albright OR developing its collection, so had no real legal position to interfere with its activities.
I say the following without malice, since I don’t know the man: every word I heard Carl Dennis speak dripped of deluded insincerity. Or should that be sincere delusion? Or maybe just crapola? If he truly believes he is somehow in the right, well...sad is a paltry word to describe him. It was infuriating to hear this self-styled cultural vigilante intone about the mistaken course the Albright had imbarked upon with that gravelly poet/grandfather voice and that subtle tone of someone who knows best and is there to tell you how wrong you are. At one point, Dennis tried to make the case that the issue was not a struggle of the contemporary vs the traditional but one of people with “historical imagination” and those who lacked it. That, my friends, was the moment I hurled my imaginary rotten tomato at his big pulitzer-prize winning head.

Jeff Simon also offered his opinion on the subject. The battle rages on....

Post-post- Check Elizabeth Licata's post on the Buffalo Spree Blog, and Bruce Jackson's article in Artvoice.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Press Release: Buffalo Art Keepers

Courtesy of Patrick Klinck, Buffalo Art Keepers

"Erie County Legislature takes up controversial Albright-Knox art sale
The Erie County Legislature will address the issue of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s controversial decision to sell at auction 207 works of art from the gallery’s permanent collection at the Feb. 22 meeting of the legislature’s Community Enrichment Committee. The auctions are scheduled to begin at Sotheby’s in New York on March 19. Michele Iannello, Erie County legislator for Kenmore-Tonawanda and chair of the Community Enrichment Committee, which oversees cultural non-profits that receive county funding, has invited representatives of the Albright-Knox and the Buffalo Art Keepers, a group of members that is opposing the sale, to present their respective sides at the meeting. Museum director Louis Grachos and members of the museum’s board of directors are expected to make a presentation explaining their case for the sale. The Community Enrichment Committee was instrumental in preventing the sale of the Buffalo Museum of Science “Milestones of Science” collection in the mid 1990s. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. in the legislature’s chambers on the fourth floor of County Hall, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo. Buffalo Art Keepers is a group of Albright-Knox Art Gallery members who are fervently opposed to the sale led by Carl Dennis, retired University at Buffalo faculty member and winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. “Selling off so many objects at once, many of which are rare, and of the highest quality, is unprecedented in the history of our museum, and should not have been done without the most extensive, open consultation with the gallery membership and the larger community,” said Dennis. “The scheduled sale has not only been justified unconvincingly and managed without transparency but (it) has also betrayed the basic obligation of the gallery to cherish the cultural heritage of our community.” No gallery members or supporting foundations were consulted during the decision-making process that led to announcement of the sale in The Buffalo News on Nov. 11, 2006. The complete list of works for sale was not announced until Feb. 13, 2007. The Buffalo Art Keepers group is currently seeking authorization from 300 gallery members (five percent of the total gallery membership of 6,000) to improve its standing as representatives of the membership interested in blocking the sale. Members can access a copy of the authorization form at Membership in the gallery can be obtained over the phone, in person or on line at"

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mardi Gras (part 1)

Yep, Fat Tuesday is this week. NBC just showed some Bourbon Street and parade scenes. I know NO has it's problems, but I love that town. I was in the city for the weekend before Mardi Gras in '93 (I think) with friends; and spent actual Fat Tuesday was spent in Mamou, LA, ( we stayed in the Hotel Cazan- the white building on the linked site) which is deep in the heart of cajun country in the south-central part of the state. I swear I've never had more fun. I plan to go back when I can...
I have been checking out a lot of websites that I'll share with y'all. BloggingNewOrleans is one that I check on a regular basis- he puts both good and not-so-good about everyday life there. The New Orleans Times- Picyune also has a great Mardi Gras specific page. Finally, there is a link page, that has a ton of sites to check out. I can't wait to go back...


Thursday, February 15, 2007

From the Hallwalls email

John Massier sent this from Hallwalls-


Artists and Models #20
Saturday, June 2, 2007
9:00 pm to 2:00 am
Central Terminal
Buffalo, NY

In the past 19 incarnations of Hallwalls’ Artists & Models Affair, a multitude of Buffalo sites have served as the locus for temporary artistic expressions and controlled insanity: the Broadway Market, abandoned factories, warehouses, auto showrooms, roller rinks, deserted downtown malls and department stores, the Tri-Main Center, and the Buffalo Convention Center. This year’s event—officially, the 20th version of A&M—will take place at none other than the Central Terminal, architectural landmark, emblem of Buffalo’s glorious past, moniker for Buffalo’s phoenix future. Visible from miles away, the Central Terminal will, for one evening, become the hub for
NOCTURMINAL—a location, a state of being, a condition, an apparition, a temporary psychosis, an inevitably...

Nocturminal embraces things, entities, animals and situations that only occur at night.
Nocturminal blooms in darkness.
Nocturminal may lead us down the road to final demise—but what doesn’t?
Nocturminal houses those with undeniable conditions and ailments.
Nocturminal could be the extreme point or limit of….something.
Nocturminal only lasts for a limited duration.
Nocturminal constitutes the end—but of what?
Nocturminal is the dark locus for ambiguous transportation—to and from unknown realms.
Nocturminal is the shadowy conduit that transmits energy.

Hallwalls is currently accepting proposals from visual artists for temporary one-night installations to be a featured element of NOCTURMINAL. Only a limited number of installations will be included, so preference will be given to the dynamic, the compelling, the arresting, the creatively deranged, and the thematically-apt. Your proposed installation may be dark—thematically or actually—or it could glow in the dark. It’s a big venue, so big proposals are encouraged. Your proposal could include sculpture, painting, video, performance, but whatever it is, it should be devised for maximum impact. It should leave people wondering what hit them.

Your Nocturminal proposal should include:
1) your name, address, phone, email
2) a detailed description of your idea (max. 250 words) with any accompanying photos/sketches
3) an indication of the minimum space required to realize your installation
4) a list of your technical/equipment needs (if any)

Proposals for roaming performative works will also be accepted.

Participating installation artists will receive an artist’s fee to offset expenses.
Participating artists will have between 5-7 days of installation time.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, March 16, 2007

Email submissions to BOTH:
John Massier, Visual Arts Curator,
Carolyn Tennant, Media ArtsCurator,

OR mail submissions to BOTH:
John Massier, Visual Arts Curator
Carolyn Tennant, Media Arts Curator
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202

Call 716-854-1694 for more information.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Sale

The Buffalo News printed a partial list of the artwork going on sale at Sotheby's starting in March. I've written about this before, noting that I see both sides of this argument- the Gallery and the Buffalo Art Keepers. For selfish reasons, perhaps, I don't want them sold. I have spent countless hours wandering the Albright, and always fascinated by the antiquities, always raising questions in my mind about how the works were created, the tools and skills that were used in their creation. I wonder what questions will be missed when young people don't get to see those pieces.
Then, there is the fact that a lot of these artworks have not been out of storage in years- even decades. Is it right that no one sees them; that the money that can be made will expand the collection with contemporary work that will bee seen? After all, art is being created all the time, the contemporary showing the inspiration of the now. This argument will rage on both sides. I'm going to stand back...

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


Thanks to all of you that have been checking in on the site. An aforementioned computer issue, and some other issues have kept me away, but I'm back in earnest.
Now, I don't want to go on about a corporate entity, but I have to say- I LOVE Apple. I got hooked on their computers when I was working for a band; had no computer of my own. Then, I had a great experience in a Photoshop class, and now it's a no-brainer. The Mac/PC argument will go on forever. I've worked with both and, perhaps because my first love is art, I'm Mac all the way.
I do have anther reason, though. The Applecare extended warranty thing. In short, a hardworking laptop died last month. The Apple Store (or 'heaven" as I call it), worked feverishly to get him back up for me. Alas, he is gone. But Apple treated me well, and I'm writing to you again. This completely rules.
So, in all, I'm glad to be back. Don't forget, send me your stuff. Buffalo has the best we could look for in art, and I want to share...