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Burchfield Penney Announces the First in a Series of Quarterly Launches

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Burchfield Penney Announces the First in a Series of Quarterly Launches

The launches to share special projects, focused initiatives and signature collections that leverage the Center’s strengths in programming, collections and exhibitions

“Cool things happen here. Audience and artists meet here. Culture is made here. Local and global connect here. We are in this together. At the Center” Burchfield Penney Art Center executive director Tony Bannon declared to a gathering of staff and volunteers on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

The Burchfield Penney Art Center announced the first in a series of quarterly launches beginning in January 2013. Positioned around a new series of art happenings, the Center will use the launches to share special projects, focused initiatives and signature collections that leverage Burchfield Penney’s strengths in programming, collections and exhibitions. In addition, new significant projects will be revealed, all anchored on the museum’s core competencies while underscoring the Center’s leadership in these areas.

“Everything we do will have national impact,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, executive director of the Burchfield Penney. “Our exhibitions will be of national and international content and quality and they will travel to other museums nationwide. Our scholarship will be made in partnership with national publishers and distributors, and our practice will be a model for other museums and galleries.”

Testify: The first chapter in a new series of art happenings
Testify, produced by Don Metz, the Burchfield Penney’s associate director for public programming, is dedicated to the memory of Spain Rodriguez. With the Burchfield Penney’s exhibitions as a backdrop, programming has been designed to extend the narratives on view in the galleries. Program highlights include national art stars including Ralph Gibson and Ed Sanders, Jackie Tarry and Brad McCallum and Buffalo-based arts leaders. For 2013, with the first event in January, future launches will be held during the second weekends of April, August and November.

International Center for Watercolor
Since its founding in 1966, the Burchfield Penney has been the museum of record for Charles Burchfield. This leadership role extends to Burchfield’s chosen medium of watercolor. By leveraging the resources of Buffalo State combined with the assets and expertise of the Burchfield Penney, the Center has a unique position to address the totality of the medium.

Programming for the International Center for Watercolor, developed by Kathy Gaye Shiroki, an educator at the Burchfield Penney, begins in February with the first in a series of lunchtime lectures from staff and guests. The lecture series entitled My Appreciation of Watercolor: A Personal View begins on February 15 at 12:30 pm in the Burchfield Penney board room with reflections from Nancy Weekly, the Charles Cary Rumsey curator and Head of Collections. The series continues weekly thereafter with appreciations by Ms Shiroki, archivist Tullis Johnson, and artist Rita Auerbach. The following day, Saturday, Feb. 16 from 12:30 - 4 pm, a series of watercolor classes for beginners, launches with noted watercolorist Joe Whalen, assisted by Jeff Watkins, with Auerbach following on Feb 23 at the same time. Workshops continue with artists Becky Koenig, Sandy Ludwig, and Carol Woodin. Douglas Schultz, former director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and himself a watercolor artist, will offer a master critique of artists' work in the spring.

This undertaking will serve as a clearing house for information on water media, connecting to nearly 150 watercolor societies and associations around the world through internet links, blogs and social networking. The Burchfield Penney’s Archives are available by appointment for research and recreational scholarship, as are the resources of Buffalo State’s Butler Library. Finally, The Museum Store at the Burchfield Penney offers watercolor materials and books both in the store and online.

Burchfield Residencies
In 2013, the Burchfield Penney begins a residency program for researchers developing a discourse inspired by the work of Charles Burchfield. Funded through an endowment established in memory of founding director Edna Lindemann PhD with support in Dr. Lindemann’s name from Peter and Joan Andrews, two residencies will be awarded per year to scholars and artists who are uniquely influenced by Burchfield. The recipients will use the Burchfield Penney’s collections and archives to further their work and expand on the understanding of Charles Burchfield as a person and artist. The first participant selected is Jamestown-native Janelle Lynch, a photographer. For the past decade Lynch has recognized a kinship in her work to that of Burchfield that started as the result of a series of nature-related photographs. Widely exhibited, Lynch’s work is in several public and private collections including the Burchfield Penney, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Brooklyn Museum, the Fundación Vila Casas, Barcelona, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta, Argentina. In 2013, the Southeast Museum of Photography will exhibit work from Los Jardines de México (Radius Books). Based in New York, Lynch is also an educator and freelance writer. She is working on a new monograph of photographs from Barcelona 2007-2011 with Radius Books, due to be published in spring 2013.

Arts Legacy Project
What began as a pilot program in 2012 to enhance the online presence and living legacy of artists in the community, the initiative has expanded for 2013 as an online record of the artistic legacy of Buffalo and Western New York. The project is growing to include a new group of artists for 2013 as well as arts institutions and art movements which played important roles in shaping Buffalo as an arts leader. These include the Art Institute of Buffalo, Buffalo Society of Artists, Media Study Buffalo and the Photo-Pictorialists of Buffalo as well as Artpark, Hallwalls and Squeaky Wheel. All content is available at A final component of the initiative is professional development for artists. From portfolio review, marketing tactics and resume building, the Burchfield Penney will lend its expertise to strengthening the opportunities for artists in our community and beyond.

Signature Collections
In 2012, the Burchfield Penney opened the exhibition Charles Burchfield: In His Own Words. The exhibition, curated by Tullis Johnson, archives and information resource manager at the Burchfield Penney, focuses the artist’s textual record and presents them with related works from the museum’s permanent collection.

Leveraging the Burchfield Penney’s vast holdings of Burchfield’s writings, the Center will share a daily quote from the artist’s writings, journals, letters and notes. The public can participate with this initiative on our website, on Facebook and Twitter. The Burchfield Penney holds all 73 volumes (10,000 handwritten pages) of the artist’s Journals. More than half of the Journals are transcribed and 3 complete volumes are currently available at Migrating all of Burchfield’s writing to the web in an ongoing project.