Stories of resurgence and survival seem to be the standard for life here in the Queen City. Four years ago, Marcus Wise and a handful of emerging artists started their own chapter in that history of revival, and their momentum is still running strong.
This Friday, February 15, 464 Gallery will celebrate another year of life with its fourth anniversary exhibit opening: Resurrection. The evening will be a celebration of four years of enduring and inspiring change on Amherst Street and in Buffalo’s ever-expanding cultural scene. It all began with a simple website and a desire to bring recognition to emerging artists in the city. Then Wise found a space to start building from and went to work transforming the deteriorating building into a home base for Buffalo’s aspiring creative minds. And from the physical space emerged a community of artists who collaborated with one another and became family.
Since its initial overhaul, the gallery has gone through many changes over the years. Wise opened Blink Gallery in May of 2010 in the space adjacent to 464, later choosing to close that space in April of 2011. Moving onward and upward, he transformed the space above the gallery into a series of studios for resident artists in September of 2011. Keeping with that tradition of change, Wise recently put in a month’s worth of work renovating the original gallery space for 2013, giving a new look to the place where it all began.
In honor of the gallery’s history, the participating artists will present a group exhibit of works that convey themes of resurrection. The pieces will feature repurposed found objects, such as barn doors, melted plastic and pieces of fabric in order to convey this idea of bringing new life to time-worn artifacts and spaces. Contributing artists include Cari Feltz-Abdo, Dianne Baker, Bill Battaglia, David Butler, Lauren Fratantonio, Christopher Galley, Marissa Lehner, Chris Kameck, Veronica Kruger, Maria Pabico LaRotonda, Matthew Nagowski, Tommy Nguyensmith, R. Jeffrey Proctor, Daniel Seiders, CJ Szatkowski, Chuck Tingley, Dana Murray Tyrrell and many more.
Accompanying the exhibit will be a window installation created by 464 member artist Marissa Lehner, titled A Synthetic Nature. Lehner’s work will explore how human hands and the machines we utilize mimic creative processes in the natural world. For example, how man’s acts of weaving, wrapping and sewing imitate the work of birds and caterpillars. Her installation will pose the hypothetical question of what would happen if nature relied on technology to create, and what it means for us as humans to both admire and destroy the natural world that surrounds us.
A second installation, What’s in Your Heart, will fill another window in the gallery. Guests at the exhibit will be invited to write a message about whom or what they love in a paper heart, which will be hung in the window box as part of an interactive Valentine’s appreciation piece. The installation will remain on display for passersby and the surrounding community to enjoy.
In addition to the exhibit downstairs, the resident artists of Studio 464 will be hosting open studio time during the event. Guests will be invited to watch live art being created, or simply check out the works they have in progress. Thomas Webb, Christina Laing, Ryan Mis, Alicia Malik, CJ Szatkowski, and David Tarsa are the current resident artists at Studio 464 who will be present at the event.
The final piece of Resurrection at 464 comes in literary form. Wise and a group of “author-artists” will celebrate the launch of the second issue of Spark–the gallery’s new limited-edition arts magazine. The publication features in-depth profiles of several local artists. This edition will include interviews with Craig and Maria LaRotonda, OGRE, CJ Szatkowski, Denn Rodriguez a.k.a. Octokitty, Martin DeVita and Thomas Nguyensmith. Guests can purchase a copy for $10. The magazine will be made available free online after the first 150 copies are sold.
The anniversary event will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. at the gallery, located at 464 Amherst Street. Free beverages will be provided and Lloyd Taco Trucks will be showing up around 7 p.m. The exhibit will remain on display until February 27 for those who can’t make it to the opening. The event is free and open to the public. For more details, visit the Facebook page or 464’s website.