Tolstoy College Teach-In: Assembly House 150

An installation photo of F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College. The central work is a table-like structure configured of many different kinds of legs and supports.

Photo: Nando Alvarez-Perez

Date and Time

November 18, 2021, 5:30–6:30 PM


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In the lead up to the exhibition at UB Art Galleries, Collective Question spent some time with participants of SACRA (Assembly House 150’s training program) undertaking a 3-day experimental furniture making workshop with Quincy Koczka, Meaghan Rolle-Heldwein, Adrienne Massey, and Frances Parson, inspired by the anarchist educational project that was Tolstoy College. Using found, deconstructed building materials, the prompt was to create furniture that one would find in an anarchist college. The first day involved building legs and supports. The second day, surfaces. The third day was meant for assembly. Moderated by Mike Basinski, former College F faculty, this conversation revisits the workshop and explores the affinities between training programs like SACRA and Tolstoy College.


Culled from his unquenchable ego, Michael Basinski is Curator Emeritus of the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo. He has published a lot of stuff over the past 50 years, and then he did a lot of other stuff too. His most recent book of poetry is Tub Bunny (Brooklyn: Spuyten Duyvil, 2020). He laughs a lot, refuses, and just outside of Buffalo, New York, he lives a little past the airport.

Quincy Koczka is a designer, builder, and artist based in Buffalo, NY. He has a masters of architecture from the University at Buffalo and has been the lead trainer, as well as lead builder for Assembly House 150 since 2017.

Frances Parson has been fascinated with the manipulation of the built environment from a young age. Parson moved to Buffalo in 2014 to attend the UB undergrad architecture program and was really compelled by the intersection of fine art, design, building, and fabrication. She fell in love with Buffalo, both because of the beauty of its old Rust Belt bones and the dynamism of its transforming urban environment. After completing the spring 2021 SACRA program, Parson is currently apprenticing with Hulley Woodworking Company, a design/build fine carpentry, furniture, and restoration shop.

Meaghan Rolle-Heldwein is a novice builder from the Buffalo area, recent graduate of Assembly House 150’s SACRA program, and actively looking to grow skill sets and professional connections. Rolle’s passions are centered around nature and the arts, and she seeks to join those two forces with her ever-growing building knowledge.