Artists & Models

Last night I convinced all my roommates to go to Artists & Models, a yearly party/art show run by the major art gallery here, Hallwalls. As Chris described it, most of the art is “student work,” but I don’t mind, because it’s all interactive and because we (well, Ric, Matt, Kevin, etc.) were once students who participated in the show. There were a couple of interesting pieces anyway, and the space where it was held this year and last is such an amazing space that even if all the art sucked, it would be a great place to throw a party: Buffalo’s old train terminal. The terminal has only recently been restored for use– when I was an undergrad it was just a defunct old building. Anyway, Artists & Models has been going for years– it’s a yearly event, and the first time I went I was a sophomore and it was held in a parking deck. It’s also been held in various warehouses and in the Tri-Main Building. I’d never been to the Central Terminal before but I knew before going that this was The Place A&M Should Be Held. There’s something fateful about it. I feel like I can’t sustain a train (ha) of thought in this post, but it is partly because I’m a bit overwhelmed with emotion, really, concerning A&M. Some of the best and worst moments of my life have been A&M related– specifically, A&M 2001 was this weird catalyst for a lot of sex and violence that had built up in my personal life that spring and finally exploded that night. But then, as an undergraduate going to see my friends’ work at A&M, I felt like a Part of Something Important. And my relation to Buffalo is also wrapped up in A&M and similar citywide art parties like Murder the Word; I see Buffalo as a city that supports the arts wholeheartedly, because hundreds or thousands of people from different backgrounds all show up at these events (not to mention festivals, fairs, exhibitions, and other major art events). Everyone dresses up and gets drunk and looks at experimental/interactive art together. I’m not going to be like a certain New Yorker I met (who’s representative of many New Yorkers I met) and be like, “Where could this ever happen but here?!?!” because it could happen in many cities (why is it so important for New Yorkers to believe that things only happen in NYC?). But although events like A&M could happen in many places, the occurrence of such an event in Buffalo is something special that Buffalo has to offer.  (My pics here.)

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About Jessica Smith

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