Contemporary Portraiture A Must See Show at Burchfield Penney on view until June 2

(above work by Julia Bottoms featured in the current ad on our front page, go click for details )

Contemporary Portraiture a Must See Show at Burchfield Penney Arts Center is the current and most conversational group show I’ve seen thus far in 2019. The show features over 60 works by 14 fearless creators on all levels. From emerging, to mid-level and established, these artists are proving Buffalo’s area talent knows how to take the box and open it up to make room for a fresh new expanded vision of traditional and non-traditional expressions in portraiture.

    When you stroll through the East Gallery you are swept into the unique creative environment for a wonderfully alternative visual art experience and it’s definitely not stuck in a rut with countless static heads glaring at you from the canvas.

     A contemporary potluck of expression and exploration, each artist has taken their creative license to exhibit how they see new meaning in portraiture and with a mix of media throughout there is something for everyone to indulge and enjoy in this exhibition. 

     Among the 14 local creators selected by chief curator Scott Propeack for the exhibit, the un-matchable talent of three community artists who never fail to deliver are in the mix and will likely stay top of mind long after seeing this show.

Julia Bottoms (b.1988) work entitled Lonisa detail (2019) Oil on Panel on Loan by the Artist

     The traditions in oil portrait precision remixed by the hand of artist Julia Bottoms redefines the raw indelible beauty of the Black contemporary image.  John Baker shows his uniquely bold contrasts that are both literal and historical through portraits of Negro League Baseball legends, and the unstoppable rhythmic free hand of Edreys Wajed draws you into a larger than life homage to Richard Pryor surrounded by hip-hop icons hidden in a veil of musical notes that may have you naming your top five before you leave the gallery; not to mention honorary community artist Chuck Tingley and his colorfully mountainous storytelling assemblage of fabrics that scale the south east wall.

      The show is a true helping of savory, bitter and sweet home grown pride filled with a variety of identities, cultures, memories, realities dreams and a representation of undeniable local talent everyone should get more acquainted with.

     Stop by Burchfield Penney Arts Center East Gallery to see this fantastic show now through June 2nd, 1300 Elmwood Ave (Buffalo State College campus entrance) Tuesday & Wednesday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. 4 p.m.  Get more info online at     – L.H.