Starlight Spotlight – "Co-Artifact," a Profound Pairing of Visual Artists

By Judy Clonan-Smith, Art Studio Case Coordinator, The Learning Disabilities Association of WNY & Starlight Studio and Art Gallery

Starlight Studio and Art Gallery, a division of LDA of WNY, has begun a new project with local community artists called Co-Artifact. The Buffalo community, especially the community of area artists, has always been very supportive of what we do at Starlight. With this in mind, I happened across an online story of a graphic illustrator, her very young daughter and their collaborations. The wheels started turning. 

The vision our Co-Artifact Project Team, including Parrish Gibbons and Jen Ryan, developed into having Starlight artists and visual artists from the community finish one another’s work and, where possible, to build a collegial relationship between them in which the artists would talk shop, share what sorts of art they’ve each been making, etc.. The other goal is to have a great big celebration with the community of the artists and a fundraising auction of their collaborative pieces, including food and live music and set for Friday, November 14th, here at Starlight Studio, 340 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo – more info here.

Starlight by street sight

Starlight by street sight

We’ve invited visual artists who have exhibited work at Starlight, volunteered here, or have some connection to the studio as well as invited Starlight artists to be involved, too. The way it works is that each of the 34 artists involved (17 from Starlight and 17 from the community) each start to develop an artwork, while leaving it somewhat unfinished. We then had a Switch Party, at which names were drawn randomly to pair a Starlight artist with a community artist.

We were very pleased with the warm reception to the idea given by area artists; how eagerly they participated in looking over the art submitted by Starlight artists and were equally supportive of one another when the community artists’ work was displayed. A number of them indicated that they felt honored and humbled to have been asked to be involved in Co-Artifact. The Starlight artists are mostly excited about the opportunity to work with Buffalo area artists, even if they also feel a little daunted by it. Both community and Starlight artists were eager to get started and several said they had a number of ideas, or that, once they saw the other’s work, that they knew exactly how they intend to finish it. There are lots of ideas sparking here and in studios all over Buffalo.

The artists pairs in Co-Artifact are: Elle Barnhardt & Lisa Kobis, Bruce Bitmead & Michael Kindred, Kyle Butler & Alison Mantione, Jennifer Fendya & Sheila Bush, Kaitlin Frisicaro & John Budney, Cynnie Gaasch & Paul Chandler, Sussan Giallombardo & John Montedoro, Patricia Greene & Kimber Rodgers, Carrianne Hendrickson & Debbie Bowers, Cheryl Jackson & Larell Potter, Dennis Maher & Andy Calderon, Josh Nickerson & David Feickert, Nancy J. Parisi & Ricky Hogan, Kathleen Sherin & Steve Borgisi, Cathy Shuman Miller & Kelly Evans, Laurie Tanner & Shamika Long, and Kurt Von Voetch – who currently has a one-man show on exhibit at Starlight – & James Bowler.

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Starlight artists participating in Co-Artifact, clockwise: Paul Chandler, Steve Borgisi, Shamika Long & Kelly Evans

Buffalo band The Mustn’ts will be the featured music at the auction!

The Mustn'ts

The Mustn’ts

Check back for updates on the Co-Artifact Project and stop in between November 7th-14th to preview the work before the auction. Thank you all for helping to get the word out about this amazing event!

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