July 2011 BSA Newsletter (PDF)
THE deadline has past - July 1st that is. All submissions for the 115th Catalogue Exhibition are in and now it is time to wait and wonder about the outcome. Fingers and toes crossed – painful – but necessary. Paula Sciuk, Exhibitions Chair, has worked extremely hard to make sure every artist’s submission met the requirements as proposed in the prospectus. Upon completion, all will be boxed and sent to the curator, Sara Kellner in Texas. It is a very time consuming job having to check through 65 entries…37 of them submitted as installation proposals. If something was amiss or missing, I’m sure Paula reminded you. Many thanks Paula for your time and support on behalf of the membership! I wish the entrants all the best and applaud you for taking on this exhibition challenge during our 120th year celebration.
The BSA Artpark Gallery is so alive and looking so very well these days. If you couldn’t make it to the opening or haven’t seen it yet, you will be delighted when you do. The newly painted walls (done last year) and the newly installed flooring and baseboards (completed this year) have transformed the space into one very snazzy gallery. On June 15th the BSA Board of Directors invited the Artpark Board in to see the gallery and share some spirits and snacks. Their Board was quite impressed with the look of the gallery and the quality of the artwork; we were very impressed with their kindness in helping to upgrade the gallery and in their renewed interest in promoting the visual arts through their advertising. Take notice of their brochures and the mention of BSA in all their literature. We have a mutual admiration society forming and much of that is due to the work of Patti Harris and her committee. Once again, thank you for all the fine work Patti, and for the spirit of cooperation you helped forge between this partnership.
Artpark will also be the place to be on July 31st for the very first International Poetry Festival chaired by George Grace. The range of poets is extensive and hail from the U.S. and Canada. BSA members George Grace and Carol Townsend will be reading at some time during the hours of 12:00 and 4:30. The BSA open gallery and the BSA poetry readings will take place during the 3rd Annual Niagara Wine & Culinary Festival and Plein Aire painters will be on the grounds as well. There is a $20. charge if you want to participate in the wine festival, but everything else is free. You and your friends will be able to immerse yourselves in a smorgasbord of cultural activities.
For the first time we will hold our Open Membership Exhibition at Artpark this year and all our Associate members will have an opportunity to show their best work without the jury process alongside the Exhibiting members. I hope many of our associate members make an effort to participate. Yes, it’s a distance but consider carpooling.
Gary Wolfe, Membership Chair, has updated our membership application with directions for anyone wishing to jury into BSA. Please direct any artist friend to the BSA website to print out a membership application. The date for the jury of new members is Saturday, October 15th at Hyatt’s on Main St. Please pass the word.
ARTFLICKS: Next on view will be Art 21: Season 5. To be held at the Gary Wolfe Theatre on Wednesday, August 17th at 6:30 pm.
The story of the Video Archive Project (VAP)
Consider the wealth of visual artists who currently reside in Western New York and then consider all of those who have passed away or moved away. Would it not be wonderful if we could see and hear what each of them had to say about his/her art-life? We could enhance that legacy of artwork by adding a recording of each artist’s history, art processes and views of the art world, both past and present, to create a more complete overview.
Consider also that we have the perfect partner in the Burchfield Penney Art Center allowing us the ability to house these recordings for future use by historians, archivists, teachers and students. The material to be stored will be the raw footage of those recordings.
Consider that this is a huge undertaking of significance to our Western New York history and BSA has been making every effort to make it happen.
This project is not a new thought with the current Board; it started to incubate decades ago but due to financial restraints, technology, and fewer local people investing their talents in this field at the time, the project could not get off the ground. Fast forward to 2009 and another attempt was made with the assistance of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Meetings were held, ideas were exchanged, a tentative list of artists was created and a start was made. Some of the people present were Ted Pietzrak, Nancy Weekly, Scott Propeack, Kathy Shiroki, Eva Hassett, Cindy Abbott Letro, Larry Kinney, Helen Russell, Gary Wolfe and George Grace. I am told discussions revolved around grants, names of artists that the group felt would need to be captured quickly and an overall agreement to collaborate. There were difficulties to overcome such as who within BSA had the experience and the time to do this on a volunteer basis? Arrangements were made with artists David Pratt and then Joe Orffeo. Larry Kinney took up the job of recording while Victor Shanchuk was positioned as the interviewer. David Pratt is no longer with us.
In 2009 BSA invested in a video camera but then we had no one able to use it. The Board at that time still believed in the importance of the project. We struggled to move forward and were able to record Jeanette Blair much to our delight.
In 2011 George Grace felt he could help move this project along and with the help of a friend of his, he began to record such artists as Joe Whalen, George Palmer, Pat Fortunato and John Novelli. George did the interviewing and his friend did the video-taping. I was along as a helper, supporter and bossy person.
To protect BSA from any future difficulty with the recordings, I felt we needed a release from the artists. One was developed with the help of internet research. But then there arose another issue in need of understanding and resolution…that of copyright. We, the board, decided to cease recording temporarily and engage an art law attorney to put together a legal release to address our specific issues. We have now been provided with a release form for both the individual artist and the videographer and we are ready to move forward.
Several weeks ago one of our members Jackie Albarella, a videographer by trade, was very instrumental in helping us complete another scheduled interview. She volunteered time from her work schedule and completed a recording of Mary Rizzo with George as interviewer. She will also be creating a composite of the recordings we have in time to view at our Fundraising event “Eye Candy”.
In an attempt to clarify the process we are following, I offer you some points of interest.
- The Board of Directors along with input from BPAC will continue to develop a prioritized list of artists. The Board, BPAC and the committee will consider those artists at risk due to health reasons earlier than others. ALL BSA members are eligible as well as other prominent WNY artists. The artists will be contacted and appointments made dependent upon availability. This is a long term project and we hope to cover 20 artists per year, so do not be concerned if you don’t get a call tomorrow. We will reach you eventually.
- Dianne Baker, a member of the VAP committee, has been making appointments with the artists and coordinating time schedules with the rest of the committee members.
- The interviewers and support teams will vary. We could always use more volunteers. We are in the midst of working out several possibilities in addition to in-house help. We are exploring a connection with one of the college intern programs and/or we would be able to work with Squeaky Wheel with an intern-to-hire.
- A list of basic general questions as well as a Release Form will be mailed to each artist prior to the interview. The interviewer will at the time of the visit ask additional questions of relevance.
- If the artist has a studio in-house we will ask to visit the studio and also ask the artist to have some work available to discuss or just for still shots. If the artist has a studio at a different location, the interview could take place there. We also envision the taping of an artist during a working demonstration in his/her primary medium.
- As you can imagine in order to continue this project without interruption for some time to come, we need some financial resources. To this end, we are having a fundraiser for the Video Archive Project on September 16, 2011 at the Vern Stein Gallery from 6-9 p.m. To date we have received support from several sponsors including Peter Heffley, trustee, Emulso Inc., Edward Wozniak, Russell Ram, Pedersen, Kolb & Assoc. as well as commitments from 75+ artists supporting this effort with donations of work. Thank you everyone for your help and for realizing the enormity of this project. For those who have not yet donated, it is not too late.
- The success of the fundraiser will allow us to keep a continued stream of recordings of raw footage which is the focus at the moment. Any post production of this material will come later and when it is warranted.
Wishing you creative lazy-hazy days of summertime,
– Beth Pedersen