O’Grady focus of BPAC festival

Published November 9, 2015

Retired UB faculty member and pioneering media scholar Gerald O’Grady is the focus of Look: Making Media, a four-day festival of screenings, interviews and performances taking place this weekend at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State.

O’Grady, associate professor emeritus of media study, led the early 1970s media revolution in Buffalo, which was among the first cities in the nation to create a public access center for film and video equipment and education.

He founded the Center for Media Study — now the Department of Media Study — at UB, teaching both the theory and practice of film and video at a time when few universities in the world were doing so.

He also created Media Study/Buffalo downtown as an independently funded organization featuring experimental film and video artists and installations.

“Dr. O’Grady’s influence is worldwide, with recently established centers for visual learning in China and South America. Forty years ago, he educated the leaders who would become New World Cinema,” says Anthony Bannon, Burchfield Penney executive director. “These leaders continue to pass along a passion for and belief in new ways of making sound, image, word and meaning. A good number of artists, too, were influenced by the liberation of this new way of seeing and using image and sound.”

Highlights of Look: Making Media, taking place Nov. 12-15 at the Burchfield Penney, include conversations with O’Grady led by Bannon, one-time curator of photography for Media Study/Buffalo, and John Minkowsky, a former curator of video for Media Study/Buffalo, and reminiscences with O’Grady over brunch on Sunday.

Among other events are screenings of films by the artist-educators who formed the early faculty of the Center for Media Study, and a new documentary about legendary filmmaker Paul Sharits, one of those early UB faculty members.

For the full schedule of events, visit the Burchfield Penney website.