Buffalo NY has a rich architectural history. The Tri-Main Center, built in 1915 by the famous archiect Albert Kahn, is one of those places. Over 600,000 Ford Model T's were produced there by 1927. Then Hercules Motors became a tenant and produced diesel engines for the Navy and Bell Aircraft. In 1941 Bell received the contract to construct America's first jet engine warplane. It's top secret build took place on the upper floor of the building which became known as the "black project." In 1947 the building became the headquarters of the Trico Products Company, the world's largest maker of windshield wipers. In 1989, Tri-Main Center became Buffalo's first large-scale rehabilitation of a vacant industrial complex.. Tri-Main now boasts over a 100 diverse businesses including the Buffalo Arts Studio. BAS has over 30 artists' studios, exhibition space, a ceramic center and an education space.
Last Thursday, I wheeled my pink suitcase up to the 5th floor, went all the way to the left and stepped into the BAS gallery. After a tour with friend and curator, Shirley Verrico, I was ready to set up. I had brought 4 of the 8 strips from my "Crazy" project, lots of embroidery floss and needles. I was getting ready for our 3-6pm stitch-in. It was relaxing, creative fun peppered with stimulating discussion about the problems facing garment workers and our environment. As an added visual treat, we were surrounded by Shirley Thompson's exhibition, Making Memories: Telling Visual Stories,. Do take this show in if you are in the area. You'll enjoy touring the Tri-Main Center and the journey into Thompson's personal history through her mono-print and collage work.
Thanks again to all the people who gave their time and thoughts to the, "Crazy- A Contemporary Quilt about Fashion's Pressing Problems." at the Buffalo Arts Studio!
" Let's go to the Lockport Nature Trail and get some exercise while we talk.." The sun had largely been absent since I first arrived in Buffalo NY and it looked like it was going to stay that way on the 7th. Undaunted, I grabbed an umbrella and headed out to meet my good friend, Deb Roberts. We met Deb's family when my kids were young and we lived in Medina NY. The Robert's are farmers and Deb's husband's family owns Roberts Farm Market in Medina. By the way did I mention that I love apples? Well I do and the season is in full swing here! My favorite variety is Empire apples. So good! Tart but sweet with a crisp bite....but I digress.
Deb and I spent the next several hours hiking the trail and then grabbing lunch at Reid's Drive-In. Risking the rain and looking for space to spread out, we headed over to one of the outdoor picnic tables. Wiping away the morning's rain, we settled in to eat, talk some more and work together on the "Crazy" project.. Deb get it. She is intelligent, curious and has already sought out sustainability in some of her clothing choices. Our conversation threaded between the topic at hand and how our lives and families had progressed since we last caught up with each other. Deb is a Yoga teacher and felt an infinity with the Indonesian segment. She reached into her past experience with embroidery and added a few daisy chain flowers next to the label information. Before we said our good-byes, she told me about American Giant,a San Francisco based clothing manufacturer whose motto is; MAKE THINGS BETTER, MAKE BETTER THINGS.
Makes sense to me.
Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.