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Allentown comes alive for First Friday

Tonight is Allentown First Friday, the popular monthly gallery walk during which many Buffalo art galleries host opening receptions for their latest exhibitions. Here's a look at some of what's on view:

"Graham Sears: A Delicate Balance" at the Benjaman Gallery, 6 to 9 p.m.:

Blue
"10 Circles with Blue" a 2012 sculpture by Graham Sears made of, painted steel sheet and rod. Part of an exhibition of the artist's work opening in the Benjaman Gallery on Sept. 7, 2012.

For Graham Sears, as for many other artists and art lovers, his first encounter with the work of Alexander Calder and Joan Miró was transformative. The Buffalo-born sculptor, whose work is the subject of an exhibition opening tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Benjaman Gallery (419 Elmwood Ave.), was inspired by the modernist artists’ experimentations with line and form and quickly folded that inspiration into his own work.

“I first saw their works over 30 years ago. It produced in me an intense pleasure, which was partly the effect of its complex yet elegant mechanical nature and partly the relentless energy expressed in its perpetual motion,” Sears wrote in his artist statement. “Today I experience ever more pleasure from designing and creating kinetic sculpture, and find it interesting to note what has come to characterize my particular style within the form, and which I continually strive to achieve: simplicity, elegance, and linearity.”

The Benjaman Gallery show, “A Delicate Balance,” is the first local exhibition of Sears’ work in more than two decades. It will feature new moving sculptures and mobiles and remains on view through Oct. 3. Call 886-0898 or visit www.thebenjamangallery.com.

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave., 8 to 11 p.m.:

Death - mice
A still from "Here is Everything," a film to be presented in Hallwalls Contmporary Arts Center as part of an exhibition of new work by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby.

"Gum Face Drawings" by Peter Fowler at Kepa3, 31 Barker St., 6 to 9 p.m.:

Photo

"Sequences: Photographs by David Moog," Indigo Art, 74 Allen St., 6 to 9 p.m.:

INDIGO_DRM

A photograph by David Moog, on view in "Sequences" in Indigo Art.

"Uncommon Threads," Studio Hart, 65 Allen St., 6 to 9 p.m.:

Close to Home II by Amanda Maciuba
"Close to Home II," a pice by Amanda Maciuba in Studio Hart's "Uncommon Threads."

Also hosting openings tonight are Artspace, which presents work by J. Tim Raymond, Robert Harding and Brian Rose; group shows at C.G. Jung Center, El Buen Amigo, the College Street Gallery, the Elmwood and Tupper Gallery; drawings by Nancy J. Parisi in the Starlight Studio and Art Gallery; photographs by Ann Peterson in Mundo Images; work by John Berg in Buffalo Big Print and the Western New York Artists Group's 21st annual regional exhibition in the Art Dialogue Gallery.

--Colin Dabkowski

 

A Susan Rothenberg in the White House

APTOPIX Democratic Convention

In this image released by the White House, President Barack Obama and his daughters, Malia, left, and Sasha, watch first lady Michelle Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention on television from the Treaty Room of the White House Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

On Wednesday, as the Twittersphere buzzed about Michelle Obama's speech the previous night, one curious Tweeter wondered who was responsible for painting partially viewable in the (instantly viral) image above. The answer, which came back from critic Tyler Green (@tylergreendc), was Susan Rothenberg, the Buffalo-born artist who ranks among the most accomplished living painters in the country. According to Carol Vogel's 2009 story in The New York Times, Rothenberg's work was chosen for display in the White House by Michelle Obama, with help from decorator Michael Smith and White House curator William Allman.

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Clint Eastwood's Williamsville connection

Gransdenclint

Entertainment-wise, the presidential election seems to have come down to Bill Clinton vs. Clint Eastwood. Clint vs. Clinton. That has a certain ring to it!

Clinton, who spoke for 50 minutes last night at the Democratic Convention...

 

...  has that unbeatable good-time-guy personality. There is nothing like hearing Bill Clinton go, "Whoaaaa!"

Clint Eastwood made a different splash last week at the Republican Convention. You either loved or hated his 11-minute speech...

 

... depending, let's face it, on your political views. I could not get over that if you closed your eyes, his voice sounded pretty much as it did in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." It also struck me how handsome he still is.

Speaking of Eastwood, we have to, just have to, give a bipartisan gander at pictures of Williamsville-born and -bred jazz singer and trumpet player Joe Gransden with Clint Eastwood. If not now, when?

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Israeli-American poet Karen Alkalay-Gut to read at WNYBAC Friday

Award-winning Israeli-American poet, translator, editor and educator Karen Alkalay-Gut will visit Buffalo on Friday as a guest of the UB Poetics Program for a day of activities culminating in a poetry reading at 8 p.m. at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. in Buffalo.  The event is free and open to the public.

Alkalay-Gut, who was born in London, raised in the Rochester, NY area and educated at the University of Rochester and SUNY-Geneseo, from which she earned her doctorate in 1972, is the author of twenty collections of poems in English, including "Making Love: Poems" (Achshav, 1980), "Ignorant Armies" (Cross Cultural Communications, 1994), "So Far So Good" (Boulevard, 2004), and her most recent collection "Layers" (Simple Conundrums, 2012).

She is also the author of the biography "Alone in the Dawn: The Life of Adelaide Crapsey" (University of Georgia Press, 1988) as well as seven volumes of Hebrew poetry in translation.   Since 1977, she has taught at Tel Aviv University, where she serves as vice-chair of the Israeli  Federation of Writers’ Unions, and is an editor of the Jerusalem Review.

--R.D. Pohl

Olmsted Parks Poetry Project to explore poetics of public space

For the past 140 years, no single aspect of everyday existence in Buffalo has had a greater impact on the quality of life--to say nothing of the aesthetic and civic aspirations--of this community than the physical presence of landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's design of the first and oldest coordinated system of public parks and parkways throughout an American city. 

Although Olmsted and Vaux came to be associated with many of the great American urban park designs of the 19th century, nowhere was their vision to construct "a city within a park" more completely realized than in Buffalo, prompting Olmsted to refer to the Gilded Age's version of our community as “the best planned city, as to its streets, public places, and grounds, in the United States, if not in the world.” 

This fall, in conjunction with Buffalo State College's "Year of the City" initiative, the E.H. Butler Library's Rooftop Poetry Club will present "The Olmsted Parks Poetry Project: Exploring the Poetic Nature of Public Spaces," a series of seven readings, talks, and workshops celebrating the legacy of Olmsted's vision for this community, and exploring the uses of poetry in extending the idea of public art in the common, public, and natural spaces of park grounds forward into the 21st century.  

The series begins this coming Friday, September 7th at 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Delaware Park's Rose Garden with a workshop featuring Lynda H. Schneekloth, professor emeritus at the UB School of Architecture and Planning and the author of five books including "Olmsted in Buffalo and Niagara" (2011), "Reconsidering Concrete Atlantis: Buffalo Grain Elevators" (editor, 2007), and "The Power Trail: History of Hydroelectricity at Niagara" (2006). 

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