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UB exhibition expands from campus into city neighborhoods

“My Future Ex,” a new exhibition co-curated by Sandra Q. Firmin, curator, UB Art Galleries, and Tra Bouscaren, PhD candidate in the Department of Media Study, will be held in several unconventional sites around the city of Buffalo. Image design: Tra Bouscaren


Published September 12, 2013

Celebrating temporary relationships between people, materials and places, the upcoming UB Art Gallery exhibition “My Future Ex” will present throughout the fall season a variety of contemporary approaches to installation and performance art spanning 11 unconventional locations across the city of Buffalo.

The UB Art Gallery will serve as a metaphoric “wormhole” for the exhibition, connecting artists’ temporary footholds in the city to the UB North Campus.

The exhibition features an ambitious mix of 17 local, national and international artists and collectives who are using overlooked spaces in an attempt to build connections between existing projects and people around the city.

Beginning Sept. 20 and running through Nov. 8, events will pop up around the city, open for only a few days—or hours—at a time, ranging from two 3,000-square-foot installation projects, outdoor happenings, artist lectures, activist dinners and site-specific public sculpture projects.

“My Future Ex” will expand from the UB Art Gallery’s traditional home base in the Center for the Arts on the North Campus into Buffalo’s distinctive neighborhoods. It will float along the Buffalo River, inhabit vacant warehouses downtown, ride mass transit and become rooted to urban farms and wildlife habitats.

Among the more unconventional projects and locations:

  • Kamau Patton will produce a light-and-sound installation on a floating platform docked on the Buffalo River across from River Fest Park. Patton also will conduct four free workshops while working on his installation.
  • John Schlesinger and Tra Bouscaren will present “Hooker Projects,” a mixed-media installation in an abandoned storage space above Maureen’s Wholesale Flower Market in downtown Buffalo.
  • Buffalo artist collective Sugar City will lead participants on a round-trip tour of Buffalo’s subway system, from University Station to Erie Canal Harbor Station. The tour will get off the subway at various stops to engage in a variety of music, art and performance taking place right on the subway platform.
  • Sculptors Oreen Cohen and Tamara Suber will integrate their pieces, made mostly from salvaged and organic materials, into the landscape at the Wilson Street Urban Farm and the Broadway Market, both on Buffalo’s East Side.

There is no opening reception for “My Future Ex” at the Center for the Arts. Artists will install artwork in the UB Art Gallery throughout the course of the exhibition, beginning Sept. 17; a reception from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 21 in the gallery will provide an opportunity for visitors to see all the works together.

Visitors will be encouraged to post their personal reflections on “My Future Ex” installations and performances on a specially designated wall.

UB Art Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday.

Artists participating in “My Future Ex” are Kaj Aune (Porto, Portugal), Jozef Bajus and Jeff Higginbotham (Buffalo), Tra Bouscaren (Buffalo), Oreen Cohen (Pittsburgh), Neil Coletta and Lisa van Wambeck (Buffalo), Conflict Kitchen (Pittsburgh), Tom Fruin (Brooklyn), Nicola Lopez (Brooklyn), Heidi Norton (Chicago), Kamau Patton (Brooklyn), Alix Pearlstein (New York), John Schlesinger (Philadelphia), Tamara Suber (Philadelphia), Sugar City (Buffalo), Tim Whiten (Toronto), Johannes Zits (Toronto) and Kika Thorne (Toronto).

“My Future Ex” is co-curated by Sandra Q. Firmin, curator, UB Art Galleries, and Tra Bouscaren, a PhD candidate in the UB Department of Media Study.

For the full schedule of events, visit the UB Art Gallery website.

Most events are free and open to the public.