A Multisensory Art Experience Pops Up for One Weekend ONLY
On September 27th, over 30 artists from Western New York and beyond will celebrate the opening of the second annual fine art happening, PLAY/GROUND. Visitors to this ONE WEEKEND ONLY event will see, smell, hear, and in many cases actually touch a series of immersive installations created inside a former Medina, NY high school. There will be performances by Torn Space Theater and live music curated by Revolution Gallery.
For the past year, curators from the WNY based fine art consultancy Resource:Art have been working tirelessly on the second iteration of the immersive art experience PLAY/GROUND. The event which brought thousands to Medina, NY last October is back with even more artists and new unique experiences.
PLAY/GROUND opens with a 21 and over preview party Friday, September 27th from 7 pm - 11 pm. General Admission Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. There are also ticket options which include a shuttle ride to and from Medina leaving from Hotel Henry at 6pm. The hotel, a sponsor of the inaugural edition of PLAY/GROUND, is on board again, and will host a cocktail party prior to the shuttle departure. Hotel Henry is also the exclusive location to purchase a physical ticket in Buffalo.
Included in the price of the tickets to the September 27th PLAY/GROUND Preview Party is a performance from Torn Space Theater. The avant garde theater group known for their site specific performances at Silo City, has created a new work, Auditorium, which will be performed at two different times during the preview event. The party will feature a variety of food and drinks including small bites prepared by Chef Lionel Hydel of the soon to open Harvest Restaurant, associated with Bents Opera House in Medina. There will be a cash bar by Mile 303 and kombucha from Bootleg Bucha and Snowy Owl Kombucha.
On Saturday and Sunday, the event costs $10 ($5 for all Students with ID and all members of either Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center or Rochester Contemporary Art Center). PLAY/GROUND is geared towards families for these weekend days. The site can be visited from 11 am - 5 pm each day, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. There will be family friendly activities in the former gymnasium and live music curated and presented by Revolution Gallery in the Auditorium.
Beginning this Saturday, September 14, artists will be arriving from Canada, Illinois, Ohio and all over New York to begin work on their installations in the unique spaces which include classrooms, stairwells, locker rooms, janitor closets, and even bathrooms. The entire second floor of the school will be transformed into a multisensory art experience.
Among the Buffalo based participants is the artistic duo of Marquis Burton, a.k.a “10,000” and Tara Sasiadek (image 1). Their project Wave and Shore includes sight, sound, smell and touch. The pair want visitors to “pause and take in fresh sensations, stretching time where we frequently rush through it, and ignore the world around us.” (Image 2 Wave and Shore Proposal Image) The sculptural floor seats will be stuffed with teas and visitors to their space will lie down to view an overhead installation all while listening to spoken word poetry.
A few artists requested early access to the venue due to the overly ambitious nature of their project. Nate Hodge from Brockport, NY has endeavored to cover every inch of an old boys locker room in his signature mural design. (Image 3 Installation in Progress)
Some of the artist’s installations include performative elements. Artists Tom Holt and Quincy Koczka (both Buffalo based) along with 10 performers on skateboards will be skateboarding through their installation, “Rolling Thunder”. This unique experience features sculptures that are animated by skateboarders. The sounds and energy created by their movement complement the boldly painted ramps and other aesthetic elements which will fill the space. (Images 4 Quincy Koczka skateboarding inside their designated room).
The PLAY/GROUND call for work attracted a proposal from Chicago based artist Claire Ashley. Ashley whose work was the subject of a major exhibition at the UB Art Galleries in 2017 developed a fondness for Western New York and was thrilled to have a reason to visit again. Claire Ashley creates large painted inflatable sculptures. Her installation Celestial Boulders includes a monumental 26 foot high piece, which will be housed inside one of the schools gymnasiums. (Image 5 detail image).
The three women who created PLAY/GROUND with the sponsorship of the Hungerford family from Medina were thrilled with the impact their inaugural event had on the local community. “The feedback we received from Medina residents, especially retailers was incredible,“ says Emily Tucker Resource:Art Principal.” Some of the restaurants reported having their best weekend ever since opening their doors.” Another huge win for event creators was seeing the countless children who had their first meaningful interaction with fine art and artists. Tucker explains, “Each of us are parents ourselves, so witnessing the joy and excitement of the kids as they moved through the space was especially meaningful and rewarding”.
Last year event organizers faced criticism for only having the event open for one weekend. The curators feel the power of something so momentous only being in existence for such a short time is priceless and they won’t waiver. Tear down of the installations begins at 5pm sharp on September 29th. PLAY/GROUND is not to be missed. View this years event program online by clicking here.
All attachments are available in 300 dpi. Please contact Emily Tucker for more information via phone: 716.553.8483 or email: [email protected]
Image1: Artists Marquis Burton, a.k.a “10,000” and Tara Sasiadek
Image2: Wave and Shore Proposal Image
Image3: Artist Nate Hodge's installation in progress
Image4: Artist Quincy Koczka skateboarding inside his designated room
Image5: Detail Shot of Artist Claire Ashley's 26 ft. sculpture
PLAY/GROUND, a weekend-long series of events featuring curated, site-specific installations by contemporary artists with a focus on the experiential, immersive, and ambitious. More information about PLAY/GROUND 2019 is available at www.artplaygroundny.com, including images from the inaugural edition of PLAY/GROUND. Follow PLAY/GROUND on Facebook and Instagram @artplaygroundny. Please send any questions about the application process, sponsorship interest, or general inquiries to PLAY/GROUND organizers at [email protected]
Resource:Art is a unique partnership that brings together the talents of three independent WNY gallerists: Anna Kaplan (Anna Kaplan Contemporary), Elisabeth Samuels (Indigo Art), and Emily Tucker (Benjaman Gallery). Kaplan, Samuels, & Tucker each have extensive curatorial experience and professional relationships with artists working in a wide range of media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, fiber and mixed media works. Resource:Art also manages the execution of site-specific fine art and considers every project as a unique collaboration between the artist and the site, navigating aesthetic, formal, and functional concerns. Since October 2017, Resource:Art has managed The Corridors Gallery at Hotel Henry in Buffalo. Their space on the second floor of the hotel, created and branded by Resource:Art has showcased the work of over 40 artists since its inception.
This year, as part of PLAY/GROUND 2019, Resource:Art is excited to announce the creation of a PLAY/GROUND Gallery & Lounge dedicated to the studio practices of the PLAY/GROUND artists and hung with work that is available for sale