UB Professor Draws Bright Picture of Buffalo's Future



"Desiderio," Bruno Freschi's 40 intaglios on display at UB's Center for the Arts through Oct. 6, is one of the many local artistic events celebrating the city of Buffalo during the Pan-Am Expo's one-hundredth anniversary. But unlike most others, Freschi's show does not depict the region's past lives. Instead, "Desiderio" illustrates Freschi's projections of how Buffalo and the shores of Lake Erie will change over the next 100 years.

Freschi expresses the city's development as an emulation of love of the city itself. His Buffalo constantly seduces the public, rendering it a city designed to become one with its people.

The exhibit's two most artistically appealing pieces are "Riverfront" and "Lakefront," both representations of boats, waterways, and buildings on the waterfront hand-painted in wide strokes of rich blues and browns, coupled with plain white. The prints emphasize the importance of waterways to a city, and demonstrate that although technology is rapidly advancing, natural formations such as rivers and lakes are still markedly important to Buffalo.

Another of the prints with great local significance is Freschi's representation of the Peace Bridge, which has become a hotly debated topic as locals struggle to decide how to replace, or fix, the aging bridge. In Freschi's rendering, the bridge's peak is especially intricate at the jointure of its cables, which, combined with its enormity and the structure's curvature, make it an awesome sight even on paper.

The other works included in the collection are architectural and planning drawings. One piece, "Desiderio: A Fantasy," is done in pink and red, displaying the city's enchanted spirit while focusing on the lakefront.

Several of the other pieces show a variety of different ways the city might be laid out. "Desiderio I," "Desiderio VI" and "Desiderio III" all create in the city a detailed plan of streets and buildings that emphasize the magic of the shore, underscoring the city's growth and development over time.

Other works in the show include: "Desiderio II: Totemic Assemblage on an aluminum photo etched plate," "Desiderio I: Totemic Assemblage, a photo positive on Mylar," "Desiderio III: intaglio relief print with silver ink on Fabriano paper" and "Desiderio IV: Conceptual Assemblage, a photo positive on Mylar."

Freschi has worked on waterfront plans for Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma and Buffalo.