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raw: Exhibition of Teen Art, Organized by Teens, Unplugs Us from the Wired World

May 2, 2011

Buffalo, NY – raw, this year’s exhibition of works by area teens, curated and organized by their peers through the Future Curators Teen Program, will open on Friday, May 6, 2011, and remain on view through Sunday, July 3, 2011. The exhibition will highlight a broad range of works by teen artists from throughout Western New York with a down-to-earth and organic presentation.

The Future Curators have taken a unique approach in the presentation of the work they have chosen for the exhibition, citing the widespread influence of technology and the difficulty in imagining the modern era without it. They have selected works that delve into the realm of introspection, and that represent a specific emotional state, incorporating motifs that are both organic and visceral. The works, and the messages they evoke, correspond to an era before mass communication. The result is an exhibition with an atmosphere free of the pollution of technology—a sort of sanctuary from the mechanics of everyday life. The works reject the recognizable and commercial: each is, in itself, raw.

The exhibition organizers are the 2011 Future Curators team, made up of fourteen students in grades eleven and twelve: Benjamin Almeter (St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute), Jordan Bianchi (Clarence High School), Chelsea Butkowski (Kenmore East High School), Emily Carlson (Nichols School), Kellie Corwin (Nichols School), Amanda Equils (Niagara Wheatfield Senior High School), Kimberly Floyd (East Aurora High School), Leigh Ann Gantz (Kenmore West High School), Alexandra Gerbec (Kenmore East High School), Samantha Kahn (Grand Island High School), Catherine Mucci (City Honors School), Casey Schultz (St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute), Matthew Stepien (Williamsville East High School), and Migella Sterlace-Accorsi (East Aurora High School). This dynamic team of young artists, art historians, writers, and musicians began the program in January 2011.

In its sixth year, the Future Curators program is an opportunity for high school students to expand their knowledge of the inner workings of an art museum and their understanding of art as a whole. Under the diligent leadership of Lindsay Kranz of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Education Department, the young curators gathered at the Gallery every Thursday evening from January through May. They have taken part in each step of the exhibition’s preparation, from writing wall texts to developing invitations. The students have been given a chance to bring their own creativity and unique viewpoints into a professional setting.

This year’s Future Curators are very proud to be the first group whose exhibition will be held in the 1905 Albright building of the Albright-Knox. The exhibition will be on view in the Gallery for Small Sculpture. Future Curator Alex Gerbec says that she is "very excited to work with the unique space" and to "truly show off the 3-D aspects of the sculptures."

To celebrate the opening of their exhibition, the Future Curators have organized an evening of events beginning at 5 pm on Friday, May 6. At 6 pm, the Curators will offer public tours of the exhibition. A film festival featuring video works submitted by local high school student artists will take place from 7 to 8 pm in the Auditorium, with a screening of the film Nosferatu to follow. The band Sunny Side Up will perform at 8 pm in the Sculpture Garden.