Working Artists Lab: Asad Raza

portrait of asad raza outside under rusty metal.

In collaboration with Associate Professor Maria S. Horne’s TH423/TH540 classes, Assembly House, Buffalo Maritime Center, UB Departments of Art, Indigenous Studies, Music, Sustainability, Theatre and Dance, UB School of Architecture and Planning

Lab intensive: April 1-May 13, 2022
at The Niagara Frontier Food Terminal, Assembly House, Lake Erie, Canalside Longshed, UB Center for the Arts, and other locations

Buffalo-born-and-raised multidisciplinary artist Asad Raza has been commissioned by Front International 2022: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art to create a multipart artwork that involves outdoor sculpture, sailing and song. As Asad’s practice is always deeply collaborative, the project will bring together the expertise of astronomers, indigenous scholars, architects, maritime organizations, marine biologists, musicians, poets and artists.

Over seven intensive weeks, Working Artists Lab participants will conduct creative research and engage in hands-on art-making alongside Asad and his collaborators. The Lab will culminate with Orientation, a sculpture made of Lake Erie mussel shells, sand, silt and rubble, and Delegation, a journey across Lake Erie during which a group of musicians, poets and artists will compose a piece of music to be performed live on opening night at the Front Triennial.

The Lab will offer the opportunity to witness and take part in the artist’s production process and will include a series of workshops, discussions and readings. Participants will also work with material processes involving mussel shells, explore the process of musical composition inspired by the waterscape, and study the ecological life of the Great Lakes. The entire project will be informed by the history of the region, its indigenous inhabitants and its present-day environmental challenges.