Monday, February 23, 2009

Burchfield Penney Art Center

So this weekend I visited the new Burchfield Penney Art Center. I have to report that this is waaaay better than the Albright Knox Art Gallery which was a total rip-off in that they charge too much and took away anything worth looking at.

The only complaint I have is that Buff State needs to take down the signs that point to the old Burchfield Center. Not being super-familiar with the area, we followed the signs thinking that they were showing where we were supposed to park. We could see the new building when we got off the 198, but thought that parking was around back or something. Until this weekend, I didn't even know that there was an old art gallery - I thought the new one was just that: new.

Once we figured out where to go, the rest of the visit was wonderful. There was a nice mix of stuff that you could tell what it was, stuff you couldn't and photography. And the things there that were abstract were still attractive and made you use your imagination - they looked like someone had gone to a lot of effort to make them look like they do!

The center was open and airy and very friendly and relaxed. There were no pruned-faced old ladies telling you not to stand close to the art. There were no police-officer-wannabes telling you not to take pictures. As a matter-of-fact, picture taking was just fine, as long as you didn't use a flash.

I especially enjoyed the Buffalo ties to the art. A good chunk of the exhibits had stories next to them explaining how they were related to Buffalo, whether it was the artist or the object of the art.

Albright Knox opted to take down my favorite picture they had from when I was kid. I now have a new favorite:

Who can't love a 4-foot package of Twinkies?

The Grand Staircase was pretty cool, too. If you stand at the top and watch people walking up or down, they looked bigger or smaller than they were supposed to because the staircase it wider at the top than at the bottom. Because of that, the perspective is out-of-whack and people actually look bigger as they are going down or smaller as they come up. It was interesting to watch...

I'm really glad I went. It was fun, I feel culturally enriched and it was affordable: $7 to get in (for adults - seniors and kids over 5 only $4) and free parking. I'd go back again.

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