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Brandon Vickerd's `Dead Astronaut` and `He was turned to steel...` will be on display at Hallwalls as part of its `Tales to Astonish` exhibition. (photos courtesy of Hallwalls)
Brandon Vickerd's "Dead Astronaut" and "He was turned to steel..." will be on display at Hallwalls as part of its "Tales to Astonish" exhibition. (photos courtesy of Hallwalls)

Buffalo showcases fine arts in autumn

by jmaloni
Wed, Oct 5th 2011 12:30 pm

by Emily Dulanski

Colder weather has never kept Buffalonians at home. Fall entertainment, while mostly held indoors, can be just as plentiful as our summer festivities. A few events of note this season are the "Tales to Astonish" exhibition at Hallwalls, an upcoming concert performed by the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, and numerous events at the Buffalo History Museum.

"Tales to Astonish" is an exhibition combining the works of Canadian-born artists Donovan Barrow, Kevin Yates and Brandon Vickerd.

"This show was previously exhibited in Cambridge, Ontario, in 2010," said Visual Arts Curator John Massier. "I was aware of it and I brought the work down here to show again."

The exhibition references and reinterprets old science fiction icons, such as comic book characters and a bad 1980s movie, in paint and sculpture.

"As with a lot of galleries in Buffalo, (visitors) will come see whatever's up," Massier said. "Our admission is free, so we're never sure exactly (how many visitors we get). ... We had a few hundred for the opening and get daily traffic."

"Tales to Astonish" is on display through Oct 28. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

An event on a different note is the upcoming Amherst Symphony Orchestra concert.

"A major focus for the Oct 23 concert is the fact that David Kim, who is the concert master of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is coming to be the guest artist ... to perform the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto Number Three," said Joan Fishburn, violinist and general manager of the ASO. "(The piece) is technically challenging and requires us to do a little bit of work. ... When you're accompanying a concerto, you need to be very precise and follow not just the conductor, but (also) the artist."

The other three pieces for the evening are from movies, and include George Gershwin's "An American in Paris," the theme from "Rocky," and music from "Exodus."

The ASO meets for rehearsals once a week and holds four concerts throughout the year. This allows for approximately five or six rehearsals before each concert.

"We hold all four concerts at Amherst Middle School, (which) has the largest auditorium of all the school auditoriums in the Town of Amherst," said Fishburn. "It seats 1,375 people on both the floor and balcony.

"Our desire is for it to be full and it almost always is."

The evening begins at 6:15 p.m. on Oct 23 with a pre-concert event. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Additional parking is available at Amherst Senior High School with a free shuttle running to the middle school from the Berryman Drive entrance before and after the concert. Admission is free, but donations help to keep the program running.

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society also is hosting special exhibits and events this fall, including an exhibit titled, "Buffalo's Bethune: America's First Woman Architect," and two family days.

"In October (the Bethune exhibit) will coincide with the visit of the National Trust," said Communications Manager Jana Eisenberg. "We (also) received a grant from the Oishei Foundation and were able to upgrade the Pioneer Life galleries."

The Bethune exhibit opens Oct 12 and will be on display through March 2012.

Before a Veteran's Day-themed family day and art auction on Nov 11, the museum will host an "All Hallows Eve" family day on Oct 23.

"(There will be) live demonstrations ... live music, indoor and outdoor (activities), cider, pumpkins. Not a huge-scale (event), but a nice family afternoon at the museum," Eisenberg said. "What our new executive director, Melissa Brown, is focusing on is not new exhibits all the time, (but) a new customer experience."

Other events this season include Shea's Performing Arts Center's production of "The Lion King," showing Oct 5-30; Lancaster Opera House's "The Miracle Worker," showing Oct 7-16; and the Burchfield Penney Art Center's "Bridging the Gap: Connecting through Clay" exhibition, on display through Dec 23.


•Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (http://www.hallwalls.org/) is located at 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

•The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum (http://buffaloah.com/a/notting/25/hp/hp.html and http://www.bechs.org/) is located at 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo.

•Shea's Performing Arts Center (http://www.sheas.org/) is located at 646 Main St., Buffalo.

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