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Burchfield Penney Announces Reopening

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State today announced it will be reopening with new policies and procedures in place. The museum will reopen to members August 7-9, 2020 and to the general public August 14-16, 2020. 

After five months of temporary closure, the Center will kick-off its post-quarantine season with seven new exhibitions.

Since shutting down March 16, the museum has been active online, presenting dynamic digital education projects, exhibition and collection conversations, performances, and artist interviews. “I’m so proud of our team,” said Burchfield Penney executive director Dennis Kois. “They responded to the shift online seamlessly, and our audiences responded. Since March 2020, we’ve engaged more than 50,000 users in livestreams and our video content has been viewed nearly 80,000 times.”

 The Center will welcome back visitors with strict protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19, “Thanks to careful preparation, we can reopen assured that the museum is a safe, contactless experience,” said Kois. “The well-being of our staff, visitors and volunteers is paramount.”

Museum hours of operation have been adjusted to allow ample time to sanitize after hours. For three days each weekend, Friday - Sunday, The Center will be open to the general public 11 AM - 4 PM; early entry hours, 10 AM -11 AM, are reserved for those at increased risk, including seniors, as well as members and first responders. Thanks to the generosity of M&T Bank, admission will be free for all for a

limited time. At this time, the museum will not host group gatherings or in-person programming, but will continue to provide online opportunities through Burchfield Connects, its virtual platform. The Burchfield Café and the Museum Store will be open during hours of operation. 

 The number of visitors will be capped at 225 at any time, 25 percent of the Center’s gallery capacity. Additional protocols to protect staff and visitors include:

  • A single-directional flow throughout the building. Social distancing will be enforced with signage throughout the facility.
  • All visitors, ages 2 and up, will be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines, including maintaining a six-foot distance from others. The Center requires visitors to bring their own masks.
  • Hand sanitation stations have been installed for staff and visitors.
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed at the Visitor Services reception desk and Museum Store. 
  • The Center will maintain a rigorous daily cleaning schedule and will frequently sanitize high touch areas, such as door handles and benches.
  • Visitors and staff will enter and exit through designated doors to ensure social distancing. Museum staff will be wearing masks in all public areas.

 “Visitors will experience seven new exhibitions,” said deputy director Scott Propeack. “We felt that the enormity of world events during the past five months needed to be front and center; hence a number of the new installations reflect upon the emotional weight and upheaval of the pandemic, social justice and cultural change, and the national protests against police violence.” Below is a full listing of new openings:

WHAT'S GOING ON? - On View thru Sunday, December 27, 2020                                                                   East Gallery

The Burchfield Penney closed its doors on March 16 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that interrupted life worldwide; on May 25 George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, leading to protests nationwide. This exhibition, taking its title from one of the best-known consciousness-raising songs of all time--Marvin Gaye’s eponymous hit--is a meditation on the transformative times and collective experience we are living through, group-curated by Burchfield staff.

50 YEARS OF CONSERVATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE IN WESTERN NEW YORK                          On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020  - Margaret L. Wendt Gallery   

Co-organized by the Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College and the Burchfield Penney to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this world-class conservation program. The exhibition highlights a number of the innumerable artistic and historic works that have passed through the conservation program’s studios over those years. Showcased are a variety of paintings, works on paper, and 3D pieces expertly conserved and restored by graduate students and faculty.

TAKING A STAND: ISSUES ADDRESSED BY WOMEN ARTISTS                                                              On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020 - West-end Gallery   

In recognition of the 100-year milestone of U.S. women legally winning the right to vote, this special exhibition demonstrates the strength of women artists to express their critiques of today’s world. Four SUNY Buffalo State graduate students worked with Nancy Weekly, Burchfield Penney Instructor of Museum Studies to co-curate the exhibition. Focuses on artworks that confront major global issues such as the environment and climate change, identity and sexual politics, race and inequality.

 BIRDSONG: AUDIO-VISUAL ART BY CHARLES E. BURCHFIELD                                                           On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020

Anthony J. Sisti Gallery /Charles E. Burchfield Rotunda /John R. Oishei Foundation Gallery   

Charles E. Burchfield loved birds.  Features a variety of media, including paintings and never-before-seen drawings from the collection in which Burchfield studies bird physiology as a naturalist and experiments with ways to represent each unique birdsong—a visual audio-guide to pay homage to the uplifting sounds of nature. 

CHANTAL CALATO: UNSEEN                                                                                                                       On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020 - Project Space

A multimedia installation that examines the mutilation of our environment and, in turn, ourselves. At age 41, artist Chantal Calato’s brother, Joe, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He lives in Niagara Falls at the edge of Love Canal. More than 40 years after toxic waste was destroyed, this neighborhood and people from the Niagara region continue to suffer. Unseen is a spoken-word symphony that brings into focus the sights and smells while living on this toxic environment.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER                                                                                                                                   On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020 - Collection Study Gallery   

Birdwatching surged in popularity during the pandemic as more people are watching them. In association with the exhibition Birdsong: Audio-Visual Art by Charles E. Burchfield presented in the Burchfield suite of galleries, Birds of a Feather features artwork depicting a variety of birds by other artists as a comparison in the Collection Study Gallery.           

CAITLIN CASS: WOMEN’S WORK                                                                                                                On View thru Sunday, November 29, 2020 - Doolittle Gallery/Budin Corridor

Caitlin Cass makes comics, drawings, and counterfeit historical exhibits. Her exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Thanks to the support of NYSCA, the Burchfield Penney commissioned Cass to explore the issues of voting rights in the US.