Title image courtesy Tiffany Gaines, Burchfield Penney Art Center
Stay Gold at Burchfield Penney on Friday January 10 is not a typical Second Friday event inside the Art Center.
Celebrating their anniversary, BPAC is pulling out all the stops and inviting the region’s best artists and musicians to participate in a giant party throughout the facility. Entry is free, hours are extended to 10A – 10P, and special programs run between 4P – 10P, with a dance party kicking off at 9:30P! This is a special event, so we wanted to do some additional coverage and hear from some of the show’s organizers, Heather Gring and John Smigielski below.
Heather Gring, Archivist at Burchfield Penney Art Center
“I’m the Archivist at the Burchfield Penney. I care for historic documentation of many artists and arts organizations with a connection to WNY, as well as the history of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The Archives are within the Curatorial Department, so I also curate exhibitions and help with installation, which is awesome. I have my dream job and I love it every day.”
“One thing that is so great about the Burchfield is there’s a lot of support to realize good ideas, even if they’re unconventional. In 2016, I came up with the idea of the first iteration of this event, Golden, for our 50th anniversary. The Golden/ Stay Gold M&T sponsored Second Friday is unique in that it features site-specific art installations all over the building in spaces other than the galleries, which I think encourages people to look at what are traditionally viewed as boring spaces of the museum with engaged and art-focused eyes. The stairwells, the hallways, elevators, stuff like that. I was an Organizer with the Buffalo Infringement Festival for a few years, and that really inspired the idea of this event for me.
“For Stay Gold, artists create site-specific art installations in unconventional spaces within the Burchfield—stairwells, hallways, and even elevators (in past years). The goal is to inspire people to look at these liminal spaces from a different lens and explore the ways in which art is possible everywhere. The artists selected for Stay Gold are exhibiting recent works and some installations have been created specifically for this event. Artists and artists organizations include Jodi Lynn Maracle, Carlos Llobet Montealegre, Iris Kirkwood, Katherine Virag, Bianca McGraw, Dana Saylor, Eclectric Oil and Light, Stitch Buffalo, Peach Mag, Buffalo Youth Media Institute, and Locust Street Neighborhood Art.
“In past years, we had an Open Call process for artist submissions, but this year we turned to arts organizations for their input about which artists might be a good fit for the spaces. In future years, we hope to reincorporate aspects of the Open Call.”
John Smigielski, Assistant Production Manager at Burchfield Penney Art Center
“So my role at the Center is basically twofold. I oversee the majority of our public programming, as well as overseeing production and technical considerations. My job title will be changing soon, but at the moment I’m the Assistant Production Manager. I’ve been at the Center for six years. My role in planning Friday’s event is basically co-running the event with Heather.”
“Heather took the lead, as she has in previous years with the visual art; partnering with Arts Organizations to recommend artists, while I worked with Sonny Baker to co-curate the music as we have in previous years. I also added Peach Mag, who will be reading in the John R. Oshei Foundation Gallery (commonly referred to as the Burchfield Gallery.) Our goal with the music and poetry is to allow people to mill about the gallery spaces, experiencing these artforms in a different setting, and hopefully finding resonances between what they’re hearing, thinking, or seeing. I believe this will be our most exciting Stay Gold yet, and I’m really looking forward to seeing people experience what we have in store for them this year.
“This is our annual community art celebration, now in its fourth year. The idea behind Stay Gold was to provide a space to showcase the extremely diverse and eclectic tapestry of the Buffalo Art Scene. By blending a mix of early-stage and established artists, many of who are creating site-specific work for this event, we hope to engage the community, and expand the definition of what is typically seen in a gallery setting. In conjunction with the Albright Knox closing their main campus for expansion, this provided us with a phenomenal opportunity to add a subtitle to our existing event title and remind the community that the Burchfield Penney will always be dedicated to highlighting the distinguished artists in our local community. Our vision is to function “as keepers of the past and explorers of “the next”, the Burchfield Penney Art Center will be a catalyst for cultural vitality and creativity in Western New York.
“The goal in curating the music for Stay Gold was to showcase a diverse cross section of the local scene. Each of these artists are truly unique, and represent the incredibly talented music scene in Buffalo. In addition, many of these artists would typically perform in other venues, and are atypical of what many people would expect to hear in a gallery setting. My hope is that bringing these artists together will highlight how richly creative and diverse the musical community is, while simultaneously exposing listeners to bands they may never have gone to see.”
See y’all Friday night!