UB Arts Collaboratory launches new incubator in downtown Buffalo

Release Date: February 23, 2021

Portrait of UB Arts Collaboratory Director Bronwyn Keenan.
“We want to bring down barriers between the arts and artists, and make new introductions. ”
Bronwyn Keenan, director, Arts Collaboratory
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo Arts Collaboratory will launch a pioneering new incubator for artists across all disciplines on Feb. 27.

The first of three month-long programs will feature a distinguished visiting scholar in the Department of Art, followed by a multidisciplinary program from two nationally recognized local artists, and finally a visit from one of the world’s most respected painters, who for the first time in her career will work collaboratively with local artists on a public art piece.

“The Space Between” will serve as a hot house of expression, association and creative development that will also act as an inclusive bridge that can imaginatively link and draw from the collective history, culture and energy of Buffalo’s many diverse communities.

Located at 431 Ellicott St. in downtown Buffalo, “The Space Between” will provide an environment for creatives to explore new ideas and relationships, with the idea of bringing studio elements together with meeting, installation and performance space. “The Space Between” is the Collaboratory’s goal — under the umbrella of ‘Let’s Make Art’ — of fostering an environment in which creative collaboration can flourish.

“We want to bring down barriers between the arts and artists, and make new introductions,” says Bronwyn Keenan, director of the Arts Collaboratory. “‘The Space Between’ is conceived as a way to help diversify Buffalo’s artistic community, connect artists with collaborators and potential supporters, and create an infrastructure that promotes the sharing of ideas.”

But “Let’s Make Art” is more than a theme for the Arts Collaboratory.

“It’s a call to action and a challenge to both artists and art lovers to break out of their bubbles,” says Keenan.

“The Space Between” will officially launch with its debut program, Àdápé, led by Victoria-Idongesit Udondian, a UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar, from Feb. 27 to March 28.

Udondian will transform “The Space Between” into an art media lab and studio where immigrants and first-generation Americans will be invited to share their stores while they collaborate in the artistic process.

This season’s second program, Creating Space for Joy, runs April 3 to May 9.

Creating Space for Joy builds upon an improvisational practice deriving from African American experiences that connect the virtual and physical worlds to explore joy. Artists Naila Ansari, a UB alum, and Marquis “Ten Thousand” Burton will develop a multidisciplinary work in a process that imagines the performance of joy. They combine artist interviews, community discussions and multimedia art to create an interactive archival documentation of joy.

Painter Cecily Brown’s program will run from April 9 to May 14 in association with Artist/City, Bortolami, New York. Brown, who is among the foremost painters of her generation, will lead the Collaboratory’s Working Artists Lab and will collaborate with a diverse group of storytellers and artists, accompanying them out of their studios and classrooms and into the streets of Buffalo to create a mural that comes from their own lived experiences and is intended for the entire community.

“This will be the first truly public art piece I’ve ever worked on, and the first time I’ve worked with a team, and I could not be more excited,” says Brown, the first British contemporary artist commissioned by Blenheim Art Foundation to create site-specific work for Blenheim Palace in England. “Buffalo is such a vibrant and interesting place and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved with something that will become part of the fabric of the city.”

For more information on “The Space Between,” visit ubartscollaboratory.com.

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