By Terry Duffy
Millennials and others increasingly are discovering and liking Buffalo - its inexpensive living, its small-town qualities, its unique architecture, art and more.
That attraction goes beyond U.S. borders, with immigrants from near and far, likewise, discovering its appeal and settling in the area. And they bring a host of unique talents to contribute to the area's fascinating quality of life.
One example, Russian-born artist, Kristina Fekhtman, shared her recent project with us.
In her relatively short time here, Fekhtman has become a familiar face at art showings, including at the 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, at Wine on Third in Niagara Falls, and at Ashker's in Buffalo. She also has conducted educational seminars on her art styles, most recently with the Niagara Artists Guild. Fekhtman continues to leave her mark in the Buffalo-Niagara arts community.
After modeling for a while, Fekhtman recently branched out into directing. She coordinated a video/photo project with several talented Buffalo artists.
Her newest work is a project called "Colour Power." Fekhtman developed it with some friends this past spring.
"I was lucky to put together an amazing team of talented artists, who were willing to contribute their time to this project: Justin Bondi, Bob Zielonka, Justin Trybus, Brandon Hudson, Ali Locke, Samreen Arshad, Jessica Lamm and Bridal Chateau, who let us borrow their gowns," Fekhtman said. "For me, to do something so bright and colorful (with the dress designs) was challenging, because I like darker colors. But I felt very inspired by spring at that time, so we used colors and flowers for our shoot."
Fekhtman intends on continuing her art, fashion illustration, modeling and styling, which she's excited about doing in Buffalo.
"I love Buffalo," she said. "I'm extremely fascinated by architecture, local talent and art. That's why my recent project involved local artists as I have strong faith that Buffalo is very rich with talent.
"I would like to go much further with styling, and art directing - that's what I like doing. I feel I know a lot of people here - makeup artists, hair stylists, models, artists, audio and visual professionals - who are not involved a lot and would love to create more work with them."
Shots of models Kristina Fekhtman (above and bottom) and Jessica Lamm (below) from Kristina's recent "Colour Power" project. (Photo by RJZ Photography, video by Justin Bondi, soundtrack by Justin Trybus, hair by Brandon Hudson and Ali Locke, makeup by Samreen Arshad, gowns provided by Bridal Chateau)
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