Tonawanda News


October 15, 2009

ART: Buffalo Society of Artists show hits Kenan Center

By Phil Dzikiy

The Buffalo Society of Artists is reaching out.

The society — made up of roughly 250 Western New York artists — will open its 113th Annual Catalogue Exhibition on Sunday at Lockport’s Kenan Center. The Catalogue Exhibition is the society’s big show each year, but this year, the show’s juror isn’t a fellow local.

Gregory M. Wittkopp, director of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., served as juror for the show. Wittkopp’s participation marks an effort by the society to expand its artists’ works to a larger audience, said Beth Pedersen, the show’s chairperson and the BSA’s current vice president.

“This is our first reach,” Pedersen said. “(Wittkopp) was selected because of reputation...Cranbrook is very well known.”

This was also the first year that all BSA members attempting to enter the show were required to upload digital images of their work prior to being selected, another step toward “moving into the 21st century,” Pedersen said.

But as Pederson noted, “nothing replaces looking at the physical work.” The Catalogue Exhibition brings 80 works by 64 artists to the Kenan Center, selected by Wittkopp from a pool of 156 separate works.

In a released statement, Wittkopp said, “I ultimately was looking for work that has a ‘spark’ in it — perhaps a thought provoking gesture in the content of a figurative work or an exquisite juxtaposition of shape or color in an abstract work — that sustains my attention during repeated viewings.”

Such works will be found in all types of media at the exhibition.

“What (visitors) will see is a broad range of paintings and printmaking, photography, some sculpture,” Pedersen said. “It will be a fun, informal, casual thing.”

s“It’s a diverse group in terms of age,” she said. “Most of the artists are pretty professional...many are either teaching or have taught, but then we do have those people who are basically self-taught. A number of those people, that is their sole source of income.”

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