As I understand it, Buffalo Arts Studio started 25 years ago with a conversation that would still be topical today about the need for affordable studio space in a city like Buffalo. With rents rising and the cost of living always increasing, those initial conversations between BAS founder Joanna Angie and a group of friends and artists centered on how they could create a space where artists could afford to develop.
Recently I had the pleasure of walking again through the numerous art studios, two large art galleries, the ceramics studio, the printmaking studio, the small gift shop and education rooms that comprise BAS. In all, a fully realized space. This doesn’t happen by accident but by the combined community efforts that make any hard-won dream a reality.
Walking through the studio spaces, I was reminded of the hundreds of artists that at one time or another utilized the roomy studio spaces that at the right time are drenched in natural light. They became part of BAS to create their art and begin selling it, to share their process, to be part of a community, to meet curators and art collectors, and to educate young students (which is where I was inspired to start a career in arts education working as a curator there). The space seems just as alive as ever. I saw works in progress. I saw a studio neatly organized in preparation for visitors. As a community we need these places. We need laboratories for ideas and places for artists to gather. We need them to watch society and document our story.
In the two main galleries there were over eighty pieces carefully leaned up against the wall in preparation for installation. Each piece was carefully set on bubble wrap or paper with all exhibition information placed nearby. The staff at BAS is preparing for their silver anniversary exhibition and auction. There are more than 80 artists included in the exhibition. Each artist has contributed to BAS’s success in some way or another and in true BAS fashion, all different stages of their career.
Buffalo Arts Studio is turning 25 and next Friday, its CollectX25 opens in the same space it all began in the Tri-Main Center. Co-curated by current BAS curator Shirley Verrico, Joanna Angie, and long-time resident artist Kathleen Sherin, patrons will be equipped with mobile bidding devices they can surreptitiously use to outbid the person blocking the snack table.
Buffalo Arts Studio is a product of the community which has sustained it for the last twenty five years, next week you can be a part of its mission for the next twenty-five. “Hundreds of artists have been part of the Buffalo Arts Studio family over the last 25 years,” Verrico wrote in a press release. “CollectX25 has made it possible to reconnect with a number of them. Their excitement to participate in this celebration is inspiring.”
A preview exhibition of the auction items is scheduled for Friday, March 24, 5-8pm, as part of M&T Fourth Fridays at Buffalo Arts Studio. An Art Affair and Auction will take place at Buffalo Arts Studio on Saturday, March 25, 7-10pm. You can purchase tickets for this event on the BAS website (buffaloartsstudio.org) or on their Facebook page.
CollectX25: An Art Affair & Auction for All
Saturday, March 25 / 7PM — 10PM
Buffalo Arts Studio, 2495 Main St, Ste 500, Buffalo