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Launches at the Burchfield Penney are festivals with performances, screenings and conversations that amplify the powerful exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

The next launch at the Burchfield Penney is November 12-15, 2015.

Making Media is the theme of the Burchfield Penney Art Center fall Launch festival Nov 12-15. It will celebrate the legendary media scholar, Dr. Gerald O’Grady, former University at Buffalo professor of English who led in the early 1970s the media revolution in Buffalo, among the first cities in the nation to create a public access center for film and video equipment and education.

Dr. O’Grady, an Oxford educated medievalist, established the Center for Media Study at the university and Media Study/Buffalo as a not for profit image center for the city. While Media Study/Buffalo stockpiled and lent media equipment to novice and accomplished artists and documentarians, the Center for Media Study formed a creative ensemble of visiting artists to educate graduate students. A steady stream of internationally regarded guest lecturers found an anchor for their activities at the Center with an equally regarded assembly of resident faculty-artists from every media discipline.

The festival will show on Saturday evening at 7 pm the newly released documentary by Francois Miron on the Fluxus flim artist Paul Sharits, one of the six. The other artists are Hollis Frampton, James Blue, Peter Weibel and Woody and Stein Vasulka. A film or video by each will be shown, and O’Grady will lead audience discussion.

Earlier on Saturday, O’Grady will be interviewed on stage by John Minkowsky, who was curator of video at Media Study and since has developed an international voice as a media critic, and Anthony Bannon, executive director of The Center and once the curator of photography for Media Study/Buffalo. The interviews will take place from 10 am to noon and from 1:30 to 4:30 pm Saturday.

Making Media will open with a performance of Lehrer Dance Company with a new media-based work, incorporating dance with video, opening at 7 pm Thursday. Jon Lehrer is dance curator in residence at The Center. Musical Feast, the 8-year old collaboration between The Center and Charles Haupt , the renown concertmaster of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Mostly Mozart, with his wife Irene, a celebrated photographer. The two will work with Institute of Electronic Arts at SUNY Alfred, with whom The Center has created a formal alliance, to develop an evening for music and motion-based image. On Sunday, The Center will screen a selection of independent films selected by Dr. O’Grady as significant to the development of media culture in Buffalo. The program begins at 1:30 pm.

Email Don Metz for information.



Watch this space, as well as Facebook and Twitter for program information about the Burchfield Penney's next launch, or email Don Metz at


Calendar Events

  • Nov12

    Screening  |  Out In The Night

    Thursday, November 12, 2015, 7 pm

    Directed and produced by Blair Dorosh-Walther, Giovanna Chesler, Mridu Chandra and Yoruba Richen

  • Nov13

    Performance  |  Happy Hour with Love Music by the Small Appliance Orchestra

    Friday, November 13, 2015, 5:30–7:30 pm

    The Small Appliance Orchestra improvises music with an affinity for electronic and mechanical noisemaking. Their performances revolve around symbiotic chaos punctuated by structure, with occasional lapses into cacophony. Their music can be beautiful, but it won't.

  • Nov13

    Performance  |  A Musical Feast

    Friday, November 13, 2015, 8 pm

    A Musical Feast, the Burchfield Penney's Ensemble-in-Residence, returns for the 2015-16 season.

  • Nov14

    Screening  |  Paul Sharits A Film by Francois Miron

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

    Miron’s documentary not only offers a great recapitulation one of the most idiosyncratic and pertinent oeuvres within avant-garde film history.