Published June 18, 2015
The UB Anderson Gallery will look different come September, but it’s not because of fresh paint or new windows. Instead, the gallery will feature a new outdoor work of art — a vibrant sculpture created from fabric and constructed by local volunteers — that will cover sections of the building.
Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Browder will bring her contemporary fabric creations to the Anderson Gallery Sept. 11-14, and then on to an exhibition in the UB Art Gallery in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.
Browder lives and works in Brooklyn, but she takes her fabric flair across the United States, and Buffalo is the most recent stop with her new piece, “Prismatic Illusion.”
“‘Prismatic Illusions’ is inspired by the architectural ornamentation that I saw around Buffalo in the parks and vintage buildings when I was visiting in May,” Browder says. “Taken from one of the city’s monikers, ‘City of No Illusions,’ this piece will reflect the warmth, excitement and energy that is present via the people that live here.”
The spirit of Buffalo inspires Browder, and nothing embodies that hometown spirit more than the people who live in the city. Her method of display offers easy public access to the piece, but the process of producing her installations is one-of-a-kind as well.
Browder offers a rare experience for the community as she searches for local volunteers to participate in the assembly of her large-scale project.
The Anderson Gallery, located at 1 Martha Jackson Place, invites volunteers from the Buffalo community to help Browder put together her piece. Volunteers are needed to help sort, trim and sew the sculpture together. Scheduled sewing days will be held from 12-5 p.m. July 8 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9-11.
“I love that Amanda participates wholeheartedly with her projects, really embedding herself in the place where the work will live, even when it’s just for a short time,” says Rachel Adams, associate curator of the UB Art Galleries. “It’s a way to build new relationships for people, both personal and with the galleries.”
Volunteers of all ages are welcome, and sewing experience is not required. Browder will provide sewing lessons, and many attendees of her past projects often visit the sewing days simply to watch the action of putting together such an immense piece.
For those unable to attend sewing days, there is still a way to get involved with the project. The sculpture will feature vibrant fabric, and members of the community can donate large pieces of colorful or patterned fabrics — preferably non-stretchy. Donations can be brought to the handicap entrance of the gallery until July 11.
“The bright fabrics that are donated will be emblematic of the citizens who reside in Buffalo and the surrounding area,” says Browder.
“Together we will create this colorful piece as a collaboration that should be awe-inspiring and beautiful — a trait that has come across in all the people that I have met so far from Buffalo.”