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Aimee Buyea

Aimee Buyea

Aimee Buyea is part of the Living Legacy Project at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Click here to listen to her artist interview. 


Aimee Buyea, an artist and art organizer, born and raised in South Buffalo and Akron, New York. She went to school at the University at Buffalo as a Media Studies student and studied under Tony Conrad, co-founder of Squeaky Wheel, and Caroline Koebel, film maker and curator. Through this, she got into the DIY film scene and indie rock n’ roll. Buyea was extremely dedicated to her studies, and through her classes, attended many events at Squeaky Wheel for film showings and exhibits that were suggested to her by her professors. She was inspired by the lack of student attendance at these events because student attendance to these events because the students don’t feel included in that sort of community. Buyea commented, “If we don’t feel welcome in their space, then we should make our own space.”[1]

After graduating, Buyea moved to Massachusetts for half a year to intern at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. She then joined AmeriCorps in 2008 and had the opportunity to move back to Buffalo. Starting in 2009, she led a group of volunteers to open and manage an alternative all-ages arts venue in Buffalo called Sugar City. One of Sugar City’s biggest achievements was taking over the NFTA subway on October 12, 2013 as part of University at Buffalo Art Gallery’s exhibition, “My Future Ex”. Through her work at Sugar City, Buyea hoped to make a creative space that was “accessible and open to all, regardless of any restrictions”. [2] The space stemmed from Buyea’s want to find a place where everyone could experience art. It was also influenced by the punk and hardcore community, which focused on trying to find alternative spaces to call their own, which is what Sugar City did. She was able to help artists of many mediums show their work to a wider audience. Buyea included some of her own work in the space when they had openings. Her installations included video art and interactive art. One of her favorite pieces was an interactive piece which incorporated nails in the wall and multiple different colors of yarn, which visitors could wind around whatever nails they wanted to create shapes and patterns.

In 2014, Buyea worked as Project Coordinator and right hand woman at Eleven Twenty Projects, a modern and contemporary arts initiative, located on Buffalo’s Main Street adjacent to University at Buffalo’s medical campus. She assisted the commercial gallery owner in all tasks related to exhibitions including installation, media relations, marketing, event planning, artist services and art sales. Also in 2014, Buyea designed and coordinated The Craft Council to decorate Torn Space Theater’s Annual Halloween Fundraiser “Prom of the Dead”. Buyea also curated an art exhibit for Block Club Magazine in this year. The theme was BORDERS and included works from Candace Camuglia, Joel Brenden, Lukia Costello, Pat Kewley, Emily Churco, Nick Torsell, Cornroy & Brown’s Impractical Cartography, Carolyn Tennant, UVB76, Dylan England, Rachelle Toarmino, Emma Laque, MJB Corporation and Stephen Schmitt. When commenting on her work as a curator, Buyea explains, “my creative flourish is still a part of other people’s work”. [3]

She also took part in the One Region Forward’s Citizen’s Planning School as a Champion for Change. Her project was the Neighborhood Fund, a micro-grant organization.

In 2015, Buyea formed Brass Pro and the Waterfront Revivalists, a moving pep band that has played Buffalo’s Curtain Up, Pride Parade, anniversary parties, Torn Space Productions, and Buffalo Infringement Festival.

Aimee Buyea now lives in Landers, California and tends to the virtual reality project, “The Dreamwanderer”, a touring virtual reality gallery showcasing all-original virtual reality artworks by Buffalo, NY-based arts collective Flatsitter. [4]


[1] Aimee Buyea, Living Legacy Project Interview, May 26, 2016

[2] Aimee Buyea, Living Legacy Project Interview, May 26, 2016

[3] Aimee Buyea, Living Legacy Project Interview, May 26, 2016

[4] Aimee Buyea,