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Galleries galore, free for the looking

Rivalry-Projects.jpg

Rivalry Projects in Allentown exhibits art by emerging, mid-career and underrepresented artists.

Visiting art galleries can be a fun way to do something a little different—and find a fresh dose of perspective on winter’s dreariest days. Recent years have rounded out Buffalo’s stellar lineup of venerable venues—Buffalo Arts Studio, CEPA Gallery, El Museo, Hallwalls—with a crop of new-to-the-scene galleries.

Allentown’s First Fridays are a great way to give gallery-going a try, and it’s evident that West Buffalo is emerging as a hotspot for many of the more recently established spots. Here are a few newcomers to spark your art-fueled exploration, all free for your viewing.

The Crucible Art Collective

334 Connecticut St., Buffalo

Established in 2019 as a multi-disciplinary art collective, The Crucible is part gallery, part working tattoo studio.

“Our original idea was for the space to be open to all walks of life and art,” says Curator Alicia Malik. “We show students’ senior thesis work and also feature seasoned artists. We want to share with neighbors or those who may not seek out art events or openings; our doors are open all the time, and people can stop in.”

Kingfish Gallery

418 W Ferry St., Buffalo

After starting off with shows in their living room, architect Adam Thibodeaux and artist Jacob Todd Broussard (who moved to Buffalo from Lafayette, La., in 2021) opened a storefront gallery space with support from Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art.

“We are close to several other West Side galleries. It’s good to be in ‘conversation’ with them. Like the city, Buffalo’s art scene is friendly and welcoming,” says Thibodeaux. “We’re on a busy street, and eager to have people come through and engage with the work. It’s great becoming part of the neighborhood.”

Raft of Sanity

1255 Niagara St., Buffalo

The Raft is a new venture from veteran proprietors of the gallery and art event scene, Elisabeth Samuels and Emily Tucker.

“We wanted to create a welcoming space, with smart exhibitions and robust programming,” says Tucker. “We love being part of the West Side’s growth. We get people popping in when from the nearby hair salon or plant store. And we’re looking forward to collaborating with both other businesses and galleries.”

Revolution Gallery

1419 Hertel Ave., Buffalo

Revolution, open since 2016, focuses on pop-surrealism. Husband-and-wife co-owners, artists Craig LaRotonda and Maria Pabico LaRotonda, opted to create a pop-surrealist scene in Buffalo rather than relocate to NYC. The gallery is rounded out with a wine bar, outdoor patio and lineup of events including concerts and DJ parties.

“When people who like this style of art are visiting, they will seek us out,” says Pabico LaRotonda. “And we have bands on the weekend; music we like to hear. It can be a little edgier and darker; unusual or just plain weird, and we love it. We are so grateful for the support we’ve received.”

Rivalry Projects

106 College St., Buffalo

Founded to be a hybrid commercial gallery and production space by Ryan Arthurs, the gallery exhibits art by emerging, mid-career and underrepresented artists.

“My goals are to introduce contemporary art in a more neighborhood environment,” says Arthurs. “This space is meant to be approachable for community and neighbors. Coming in is free, you don’t have to buy anything. It’s a chance to just look or engage in conversation. I wanted people to be able to not just look at art, but, with the studio in the back, see how things get produced.”

More to see

UB Anderson Gallery1 Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo

Benjaman’s Art Gallery: 419 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

Buffalo Art Movement (BAM!): 255 Great Arrow Ave., Suite 200, Buffalo

The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (BICA): 30D Essex St., Buffalo

K Art: 808 Main St., Buffalo

PAUSA Art House: 19 Wadsworth St., Buffalo

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