Community encouraged to help create giant fabric sculpture

Jul 9, 2015

Brooklyn artist Amanda Browder is working to transform an art gallery in Buffalo's University Heights neighborhood into a work of art and she's inviting the community to help.

The artist intends to create a giant 40-foot by 80-foot fabric sculpture to display on the University at Buffalo’s Anderson Gallery in September. Later in the fall, the piece will move to UB’s Center for the Arts as part of the exhibition called Splitting Light.

Residents are being urged to help create a large fabric sculpture.
Credit Amanda Browder

The showcase highlights artists who use color as a medium, oftentimes on tangible material objects.  Artists include Shiva Aliabadi, Anna Betbeze, Erin Curtis, Gabriel Dawe, Sam Falls, Nathan Green, John Knuth, David Benjamin Sherry and Hap Tivey.

Browder said oftentimes people think they have to behave a certain way in art galleries, but she wants to change this mindset. She said everyone is invited to participate in the work’s completion, whether people come to sew, learn about sewing or just enjoy the environment.

“A lot of times I feel like public art is something where you go and look at and it’s experienced on a separate level from audience, maker and artist,” Browder said. “So, this project, it relates to a lot of my previous work where people come, we have these open sewing days, a lot of times people know how to sew, sometimes they don’t and we hang out.”

Although Buffalo has been called the “City of No Illusions,” Browder was inspired by the shadowing of the ornamentations in the city. She decided to call her piece “Prismatic Illusions.” She explained the work will use color and the structure of the buildings to create something new.

“It’s breaking up a regular building that you see every day,” Browder said. “And it’s something that, hopefully the piece itself that we’ll make together, will kind of create an awe- inspiring moment. Change the building. Change how I feel about this space. It may only be up for three days or a week, but when it leaves that building will activate.”

Along with adding an artistic touch to the neighborhood, the associate curator at UB art galleries hopes the art will lead to growth within people in the community.

“It’s a pretty quiet place. It’s in a very residential spot,” said Rachel Adams. “We do not have a shuttle that comes here yet for students and people on UB campus to take. So, what I really loved about Amanda proposing the project specifically actually on the original façade of the building was to get the neighborhood excited and get people in here.”

The sewing extravaganza began on Wednesday and runs through July 11 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. All sessions will be held in the Anderson Gallery on Martha Jackson Place in University Heights.