Public Art Initiative ..........................
Public Art -- Table of Contents
Albright Knox Public Art: Works, From Home, 2020
45 West Chippewa St., Buffalo NY
Karle Norman ... Jay P. Hawkins, Sr. ... Ashley Johnson ... MJ Meyers ... Jason Seeley ... Fontini Galanes ... Adam Weekley ... Sarah Myers ... Chris Piontkowski ... Obsidian Bellis ... Rachel Shelton ... Jon Mirro ... Julia Bottoms ... Tricia Butski ... Jennifer Ryan ... Omniprism
biographies, below: Albright Knox Public Art:
Works, From Home, 2020 (online
Across the street: Calumet Building/Bacchus Restaurant
By Karle Norman
American, born 1983
Karle Norman is an artist living in Buffalo, New York. Born into a conservative religious group that emphasized strict adherence to the Bible, he used art as an escape. Many hours were poured into his sketchbooks, and sketching remains an integral part of his artmaking some twenty years later. Norman credits his grandmother, an artist herself, with instilling in him the desire to maintain a creative practice. His series “Same Inside” seeks to explore the relationship of our shared experiences to our physical differences.
By Jay P. Hawkins, Sr.
American, born 1989
For Jay P Hawkins, Sr. (aka Cashis Green), art isn't just something he does but a way of life. Since he began drawing as a toddler, Hawkins has channeled his creative energies into barbering, clothing design, and work as emcee, rapper, and event coordinator in Buffalo’s hip-hop scene. In recent years, he has exhibited his visual art internationally and nationally, including in numerous galleries throughout the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. As youth director for the WNY-Urban Arts Collective and head of his own artistic brand, Revolutionary Strokes LLC, Hawkins shares his gift and enthusiasm for art at community events and through youth education, mentoring, and public speaking.
By Ashley Johnson
American, born 1988
Ashley Johnson is a visual artist working at Exchange Studios in Buffalo, New York. While she expresses her creativity most through painting and illustration, she continually explores other mediums. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions over the past three years, including a solo show at Flight Gallery in Buffalo and a group show at Mills Pond Gallery in Long Island. She recently established a one-on-one coaching program to help artists add structure and stability unique to their practice, and she is currently creating work for a solo exhibition planned for this December at The Crucible Art Collective in Buffalo.
By MJ Meyers
American, born 1982
MJ Myers’s work often illustrates both romantic visions of life as well as the raw underbelly of human experience. Unconfined to subject matter or medium, Meyers examines the everyday mundane always with an ever-opening mind, informed by his many travels abroad, and enthusiasm for telling the age-old story of the human experience with a contemporary twist. In addition to his art practice—which includes album cover design, children’s book illustrations, and work as a live wedding and event painter—Myers is an active character and set designer for Torn Space Theater productions.
By Jason Seeley
American, born 1983
Jason Seeley lives and works in Buffalo. His work has been shown at venues including Schwartz Gallery in London, the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, and Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto. He received his BFA from Ringling School of Art and Design in 2008 and an MFA from the University at Buffalo in 2011.
By Fontini Galanes
American, born 1965
Fotini Galanes is best known for her intensely intricate drawings of mesmerizing organic abstractions. Obsessive and calculated in her method and detail, every mark matters and every visual moment has assigned meaning in her work. Her compositions push and pull at viewers, establishing a dialogue at a distance that shifts upon closer inspection. While her works often exude a sense of playfulness and whimsy on the surface, her content is frequently steeped in deeply personal symbolism, metaphor, and narrative that encourages and rewards deep reflection and contemplation. Galanes is also the creator of My Mark Matters, an interactive global outreach project integrating art, storytelling, and technology to facilitate connection, inclusion, and empathy.
By Adam Weekley
American, born 1975
Buffalo-based artist Adam Weekley addresses issues of identity and gender and the tension between nature and artifice in a diverse, multimedia body of work that includes not only drawings and paintings but also sculptures and large-scale installations. A 2003 graduate of the University at Buffalo's MFA program, Weekley is currently an Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts program at Villa Maria College.
By Sarah Myers
American, born 1982
Buffalo-born artist Sarah Myers began painting when she was 15 and went on to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and Angels Art Academy in Florence. Myers has taken her creativity across the artistic spectrum from figurative to abstract art in many mediums, including oil or acrylic paintings and pen-and-ink drawings. Her areas of interest include painting nature, with an emphasis on trees and water, as well as abstraction.
During the course of her career, Myers has exhibited widely. In 2016, she transformed the abandoned former Curtiss Malting building on Niagara Street in Buffalo into a gallery space for the show Nature and Decay, which featured a collection of her large tree paintings. In 2019, Myers was part of a group show, Nature in Black and White, at the Arsenal Gallery in New York’s Central Park. Her works are in private collections and that of the Albright-Knox.
By Chris Piontkowski
American, born 1986
Buffalo-based artist Chris Piontkowski is known for his brightly colored pop art, which combines influences from street art with echoes of a childhood spent reproducing imagery from his favorite cartoons and video games. Through his work, he aims to inspire others and bring positivity, smiles, and joy to his audiences. Some of his public murals can be found on Elmwood Avenue and Hertel Alley and in Black Rock and Eggertsville. Piontkowski graduated in 2009 from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he studied media art and animation.
By Obsidian Bellis
American, born 1993
Obsidian Bellis is an artist and DIY organizer born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo. After traveling and living in other places on the East Coast and Midwest, Bellis now resides on Buffalo’s West Side. Bellis sees her creative drive as a method to bring something new and novel into existence. Finding inspiration in such wide-ranging sources as from magical illustrations found in 15th to 19th–century Coptic prayer scroll amulets and Ethiopian illuminated manuscripts to mythology and Afrofuturism, Bellis’s signature style is a mixture of illustrative and mystical forms often incorporating spectacular natural elements with fantastical figures.
By Rachel Shelton
American, born 1988
Rachel Shelton is an interdisciplinary fine artist whose practice, while grounded in printmaking, also includes bookmaking, drawing, enameling, and sculpture. Her study of archaeology and anthropology has informed the overhead perspective of the evolution and organizational structures of human populations she brings to her work. Constantly improvising, testing, and pushing the boundaries of printmaking, her work centers the continuous processing of information rather than the conclusions ultimately drawn. A cofounder of Mirabo Press, Shelton received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA from the University at Buffalo.
By Jon Mirro
American, born 1978
Jon Mirro has been a professional tattooer and illustrator based in Buffalo since 1999. Taking inspiration from contemporary Japanese and American tattoo themes, street art, and skateboard culture, Mirro hopes to portray the frustration, reservation, anxiety, and overall uneasiness experienced during early 2020 in his contribution to Works, from Home.
By Julia Bottoms
American, born 1988
Julia Bottoms is the Buffalo-based artist of a number of widely praised and highly visible murals in the region, including 2017’s Freedom Wall. Since that time, she has expanded her production, increasingly focusing on political, social, racial, and gender issues while still grounding her compositions in what she describes as “individuality and character.” Her emotionally charged portraits reveal how, as she states, “people of color have been trapped in someone else’s narrative for too long, and when we have tried to write our own, we have often been erased from the mainstream history books. I believe it is time for us to use the talents we possess to speak our truth. Our lives are worthy of dialogue.” Bottoms is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo State College.
By Tricia Butski
American, born 1990
Tricia Butski is an artist and educator living and working in Buffalo who most recently participated in Works, From Home, a multi-artist project organized by the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative in 2020. Butski’s current work explores the limitations of memory and examines the instability inherent in portraiture. By challenging the boundaries between representation and abstraction, and questioning the relationship between fluctuation and constancy, the works become entangled and distorted in our innate desire for clarity and proclivity for drawing meaning out of partiality. The work becomes fragmented through a conceptual procedure that corresponds to the experience of forgetting and the patchwork manner in which our memories are held and consistently altered. Butski holds a BFA from SUNY Fredonia and an MFA from the University at Buffalo. She is currently a resident artist at Buffalo Arts Studio and an adjunct instructor at SUNY Fredonia and Erie Community College.
By Jennifer Ryan
American, born 1988
A lifetime lover of all things “art,” Jennifer Ryan today frequently experiments in mediums ranging from drawing to sculptural painting and pottery; her current explorations include working with quill pens. Her work often considers in abstract the human body and mind as well as other natural organisms, and the idea that all systems are created and intertwined by delicate but resilient parts.