April 2–3, 2022
Saturday, April 2, 11 AM – 3 PM
Sunday, April 3, Noon – 3 PM
See Individual Events
The University at Buffalo Art Galleries (UB), Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (AKAG) welcome any and all to participate in the Black Lunch Table (BLT) series of online and in-person events Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd, 2022. BLT is a collaborative art project founded by artists Heather Hart and Jina Valentine that aims to fill gaps in the documentation of contemporary art history.
Black Lunch Table is an oral-history archiving project, the primary aim of which is the production of spaces for cultural producers and community members to engage in dialogue on a variety of critical issues. Organized around literal and metaphorical lunch tables, BLT takes the lunchroom phenomenon as its starting point. You are welcome to join roundtable sessions designed to provide space and time for important discussions, bringing together diverse groups of people that foster candid conversations.
Each of the three hosting organizations are simultaneously presenting exhibitions featuring Black artists and cultural producers.
Organized by UB Art Galleries, Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection is an exhibition that stems from artist Heather Hart’s research on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. At UB CFA Gallery, Hart presents a sculptural installation that quotes the architecture of the motel balcony in order to revisit this critical moment in the Civil Rights Movement. The work explores the intersection of this collective national trauma and the individual and physical experience of the balcony as a site of memorialization. Designed to be activated by visitors, this exhibition serves as a gathering space and site for study and imaginings by UB students and the greater Buffalo communities.The exhibition as well as Black Lunch Table are presented with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Concurrently, the Burchfield Penney has mounted two exhibitions featuring the legacy and influence of the great local artist and educator James Pappas. Curated by Tullis Johnson, James G. Pappas: Relative to Music is on view through May 29, 2022 and features a selection of paintings, drawings, screenprints, and photographs that spans the internationally recognized local artist's prolific career. Coinciding at the Burchfield Penney is Founders: The Early History of the Langston Hughes Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, also on view until May 29. This exhibition, curated by Tiffany Gaines, further considers the intersections of art, Black culture and empowerment, and social justice across Pappas’ work as an artist, educator, and community leader. The exhibition also tracks, along with Pappas, fellow artists Allie Anderson and Clarence Scott, their collective artistic contributions, as well as the formative years and the legacy of the Langston Hughes Center.
And at Albright-Knox Northland through June 5, 2022, In These Truths is an exhibition of works by Black cultural producers, co-curated by two of Buffalo’s most influential, charismatic, and insightful artists, Edreys Wajed and Aitina Fareed-Cooke, in collaboration with Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott. This invitational exhibition focuses on Black artists, emerging and established, who, through a wide range of mediums, provoke and reconsider, defy and embrace, test and talk about our shared reality.
Collectively, these three institutions seek to better represent and celebrate Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color in our communities, further defining space for artists to create enduring and fertile forms that challenge dominant narratives.
Our institutions also recognize our responsibility to make space for the diverse experiences of our community members–artists, activists, and cultural leaders. We are honored to invite Black Lunch Table to Buffalo to both facilitate authentic conversations on these topics, and allow the voices of Buffalo’s communities to be not only included, but documented as part of the conversations happening all over this country about race, representation, and access to the arts in America.