Campus News

Arts Collaboratory’s spring, summer schedule sown from local seeds


"Homegrown," the UB Arts Collaboratory's spring-summer programming, shines the spotlight on Buffalo-based visual and performing artists.


Published February 10, 2022

“Buffalo has an incredibly active and passionate arts community, and coming out of the pandemic’s inward focus we felt the time was right to celebrate the art and artists we have right here in our own backyard. ”
Bronwyn Keenan, director
UB Arts Collaboratory

Now entering its third year, the UB Arts Collaboratory is turning its sights inward, unabashedly focusing on the abundance of inspiration and creativity fostered locally. Launching officially in coordination with UB’s spring semester, the collaboratory is offering “Homegrown,” a wide variety of programming that shines the spotlight on Buffalo-based visual and performing artists across all disciplines, including storytellers, painters and hip-hop musicians, as well as a residency by the internationally recognized artist Asad Raza.

Born and raised in Buffalo to Pakistani immigrant parents, Raza is currently based in Berlin, Germany, and has garnered a worldwide reputation as a prolific multidisciplinary artist.  Known for his collaborations, Raza’s Working Artists Lab will assemble a group of UB and locally based musicians, poets and artists for an investigation and celebration of the past, present and future of Lake Erie and the ecosystems and communities surrounding it.

The lab culminates in two artworks commissioned by the Front International 2022: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art — “Orientation” and “Delegation” —involving outdoor sculpture, sailing and song. Participants will be active in the Working Artists Lab intensive, set for April 1 through May 13 at Silo City, Assembly House, Canalside Longshed, the Center for the Arts and other locations.

“‘Homegrown’ is a natural extension of what the UB Arts Collaboratory has been working on since its inception,” says Director Bronwyn Keenan. “Buffalo has an incredibly active and passionate arts community, and coming out of the pandemic’s inward focus we felt the time was right to celebrate the art and artists we have right here in our own backyard.”

The UB Arts Collaboratory’s street art installation in the Center for the Arts will feature work from Johny Chow and Mickey Harmon, two well-known Buffalo artists who’ve dedicated their time and resources to making art for the entire city to enjoy. “The City Talks to Itself, Part 2” will display their new works in the CFA atrium. Harmon’s mural “City of No Illusions” is a tribute to the city, while Chow will bring the radical vibe of Buffalo’s street art indoors with incisive commentaries on capitalism and corporate culture.

Another highlight of the collaboratory’s spring programming is a daylong special event in partnership with The Creative Independent, Forge Buffalo and the CFA focused on “How to Make a Living Making Art.” Working artists, Buffalo-based business professionals, UB alumni and the people behind the scenes at the resourceful Creative Independent will provide tried and true information on how to make art and make a living. Free and open to the public, “How to Make a Living Making Art” will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 2. Pre-registration is required.

Overview of spring season

The Arts Collaboratory has put together a season of labs, installations, classes, concerts and workshops that have all grown from the fertile ground of UB and Buffalo’s arts communities to commemorate this year’s theme of homegrown.

In March, there will be an exhibition by 2021-22 Artist in Residence Tayron Lopez (Taiitan). Taiitan’s works explore the subconscious mind and the psychological effects of growing up in urban communities plagued by violence, poverty, colorism, racism and inequality. It will take place March 18 through April 18 in The Cass Gallery, 500 Seneca St., Buffalo.

At the end of April, there will be a showcase of talent and storytelling featuring Buffalo’s women of hip-hop for “Ladies First.” Curated by Schondra Aytch, the genius behind Sneakvibing, “Ladies First” is a celebration of all the women who’ve given so much to the scene, but still haven’t gotten their due. It will take place one night only, April 30, from 7-9 p.m. at Torn Space Theater, 612 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo.

Throughout the spring, the collaboratory will be presenting the sixth season of the YouTube Channel series “Outside Influence,” hosted by local hero ToneyBoi and dedicated to Buffalo’s thriving hip-hop scene. This spring, “Outside Influence” will be filming — directed by Brett Deneve — at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

The collaboratory also will be launching “Buffalo Picks,” a weekly social media feature in which local artists and experts highlight the upcoming events and performances listed on the Buffalo Arts Calendar that they’re looking forward to attending.

“Show Your Work” will continue throughout the spring, with the goal of photographing and interviewing every working artist in Buffalo. Selected portraits are on view in the windows of the Sidway Building at Main and Goodell streets in downtown Buffalo.

The UB Arts Collaboratory is a strategic initiative designed to create an environment in which creative collaboration can flourish. The Arts Collaboratory brings UB and Buffalo-based artists together to spark innovation and share their work with the world.