August 25, 2017

I got so involved in Art Jail, Day Four that I'm just now getting a chance to post about yesterday. I think that's a good sign. :)

Yesterday my dear friend and fellow artist Marissa Lehner Bannister, knowing my week's plans, thought of an "art field trip" that I would enjoy...a drive to historic Clarence Center, east of Buffalo. Founded in the early 19th century, the town is very charming, filled with federal-style brick homes, an Italianate business block, and tons of Civil War-era vernacular structures. An architectural historian's dream! (I met the owner of the house below, and she kindly told me a little of the history of her childhood home, and how she's returned to town to fix it up, bit by bit; meeting fellow old building-lovers is one of the best parts about my work!)

My friend and I...

August 23, 2017

Yesterday was a chance to escape for a day, to a place I'd barely explored.

I arrived in the Clinton-Bailey neighborhood- where I HAVE visited the farmer's market, the wholesalers nearby, but this time I had a different purpose: I snuck into an industrial complex where I wasn't supposed to be! (Though there was no sign barring strange artists drawn to historic buildings). The warren of brick and metal structures at the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Clinton Street had long appealed to me...probably because I'd only seen them from the height of the 190 overpass. From there, the proud buildings, some ramshackle, some in seemingly-perfect condition, beckoned.

In 1889, the Snow Steam Pump Works was built on Buffalo's far east side, close to a mass of railroads and the Buffalo River. You can le...

March 18, 2017

"You are what you notice, maybe." - Dana Spiotta

I wake up to Churchill pawing a hole in my perfectly taut window plastic which I'd proudly installed the day before. Yelling at him wakes me up sufficiently, so I slip on my glasses and gaze out the window. I see a lavender-mauve light bathing the church at the end of the alley, as well as the top third of the ornate Italianate house Victor saved from the wrecking ball. The warm feelings normally reserved for old friends seep back into me.

Just after a random moment of panic about too openly sharing my love life on the internet, I'm captivated by color, form and shadows. Mother nature interacting with human design might be one of my favorite things to experience- probably because it reminds me that the architects, street planners and others wer...

August 23, 2016

Somehow, I got convinced that I should hide who I truly am. What a mistake.

A long, hot summer was a great opportunity for me to think, hard, about how I'd like my business to evolve, and how I want it to be perceived. When someone asks me what I do, I usually have several answers, but it almost always starts with "Artist". Then, I add, "Historian, Preservationist, Event Planner..." In recent years, nonprofit neighborhood groups and others have begun asking for my help- to share my expertise on how to bring artists in, or how to leverage creative events to draw attention to historic places. I was thrilled to be able to help in some small way.

Eventually, it dawned on me that THIS could be my future as a business- a Creative Consultant. I sought assistance from the Buffalo State College Small...

May 20, 2016

AUGUST 1897-

"The band took possession of the big reunion tent at the Camp last night, and within a few minutes, 5,000 had gathered inside to listen to its music, while twice as many more gathered outside the canvas...They wept as they sang, some of these battle-scarred veterans, but they were happy to be together again." - Buffalo newspaper coverage of the 1897 Grand Army of the Republic reunion at "Camp Jewett"/Front Park in Buffalo, New York

 

He and Charlotte climbed slowly up the train's steep stairs at the Canton station. It was not easy for a man who'd once been hit with the same typhoid fever that killed two of his brothers, and later caught shrapnel in the Battle of Fort Gilmore. Yet he never complained. He'd left his post at his Pierrepont General Store for a bit of a respite, thoug...

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