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(Images courtesy of Resource:Art)
(Images courtesy of Resource:Art)

PLAY/GROUND festival calls for artists


Wed, May 5th 2021 02:20 pm

10 days of public art at Central Terminal, Broadway Market, Matt Urban Center, Canalside

Fourth annual art extravaganza to held Aug. 6-15

The annual summer art event PLAY/GROUND will be held Aug. 6-15 at four locations in Buffalo. PLAY/GROUND is calling for artists for its annual event, which is sponsored by M&T Bank and organized by BICA (The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art) and Resource:Art.

“We are excited to share our vision for this year’s art PLAY/GROUND, which will connect downtown Buffalo and the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood through art,” said Emily Tucker, director of Resource:Art. “Our goal for this year is to bring diverse communities together to reflect on unique perspectives, heal and grow together as one strong Western New York community. Our selection of this year’s venues is intentional, and we hope to engage new artists and new communities to create a shared experience that is engaging and accessible for all visitors.”

2021 PLAY/GROUND will be a Buffalo-based public art extravaganza spanning 10 days. From Aug. 6-15, public art installations will be on display within a 10-mile radius that connects downtown Buffalo with the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood and at four main locations: Central Terminal, Broadway Market, Matt Urban Center and Canalside.

This is the second iteration of a socially distant PLAY/GROUND. In 2020, PLAY/GROUND was spread over 11 different sites that stretched from Graycliff to Artpark, with 22 projects and participating artists from as far away as San Francisco.

By focusing the 2021 event on Broadway Fillmore and at the Central Terminal, PLAY/GROUND dovetails with the Central Terminal’s goals to increase programmatic and physical connections with the surrounding community, and to activate the site with diverse events and attendees. Organizers said PLAY/GROUND will work in tandem with Central Terminal staff to build a creativity hub for the overall event – “a memorable space for the enjoyment of art that is suitable for all ages.”

Nancy Brock, vice president and program director of The M&T Charitable Foundation, said, “PLAY/GROUND is a wonderful opportunity for art to display its ability to heal, to connect and to open avenues for wonder and creativity. We at M&T Bank are grateful to participate in this very accessible, interactive public art program that will connect residents of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhoods and beyond.”

PLAY/GROUND aims to maximize participation with the communities that reside in and around the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood and the three-mile stretch to Canalside, including Explore & More Children’s Museum and other waterfront attractions.

A press release stated, “Broadway-Fillmore is the perfect epicenter for this event; a neighborhood that is welcoming, hopeful and striving, despite demographics that represent hardship. The event will highlight and form partnerships with local businesses and drive new revenue streams from event visitors.

“COVID-19 guidelines not only continue to be followed by PLAY/GROUND, but are also a driving force behind this year’s event. As the entirety of the festival will be contained within a 10-mile radius, attendees are encouraged to walk and bike between displays, to promote health and wellness while enjoying and exploring creativity. Together with Go Bike Buffalo and Buffalo Bike Tours, PLAY/GROUND will have several ways for participants to be ready to cycle between the installations safely.”

Public art proposals will be accepted beginning Friday, May 7, on the PLAY/GROUND website. Two Zoom information sessions for artists will be held in May, with more information forthcoming.

The PLAY/GROUND team consists of Emily Ebba Reynolds and Nando Alvarez-Perez from BICA, and Elisabeth Samuels and Emily Tucker from Resource:Art.

Founded in 2018, PLAY/GROUND began as a weekend-long art experience at a former Medina high school.

PLAY/GROUND is an annual series of events featuring curated, site-specific installations by contemporary artists with a focus on the experiential, immersive and ambitious. More information about PLAY/GROUND 2020 is available at www.artplaygroundny.com

Resource:Art is a unique partnership that brings together the talents of two independent WNY gallerists: Samuels (Indigo Art) and Tucker (Benjaman Gallery). They have extensive curatorial experience and professional relationships with artists working in a wide range of media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, fiber and mixed media works. Resource:Art also manages the execution of site-specific fine art and considers every project as a unique collaboration between the artist and the site, navigating aesthetic, formal and functional concerns. Since October 2017, Resource:Art has managed The Corridors Gallery at Hotel Henry in Buffalo. Its space on the second floor of the hotel, created and branded by Resource:Art, has showcased the work of over 40 artists since its inception.

BICA is an art and education project for Buffalo founded by Alvarez-Perez and Ebba Reynolds. Through innovative exhibitions, cross-disciplinary skills-based programming, and arts ecology development, BICA aims to break down barriers between the art world and the rest of the world in order to make lives better through practical engagements with contemporary art. Learn more at thebica.org

Through financial support, activation of its resources and the volunteerism of its employees, M&T Bank, through its philanthropic arm, The M&T Charitable Foundation, supports a diverse range of cultural, civic, education, health care, human service and youth organizations that add value to the communities in which it does business. More information is available at www.mtb.com

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