"Around Town: Albright Knox, 'Echo Art Fair' and Allentown Farmer's Market"

Fridays are full of cheap cultural opportunities for the average college student

The Spectrum

It’s a new weekend in Buffalo and a surprisingly artistic one. If you aren’t already bogged down with work, then find someone with a car, or try your hand at navigating the NFTA system and mosey downtown for some culture.

The ‘echo Art Fair’ was founded just a few years ago in 2011. It’s a relatively new addition to the multifaceted art culture in Buffalo. The fair will be held this weekend – Sept. 6 and Sept. 7 – at the Buffalo Public Library from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is a $5 entrance fee and library members receive a $1 discount.

The first year the event was held, it was only one day with approximately 3,000 visitors. Last year, the fair ran for a full weekend and drew 7,500 people, according to the organization’s website.

The fair hosts the work of more than 30 artists and local vendors including Sweetness 7, Ashkers and the Westside Bazaar. Site-specific installations can also be found at Canalside and Explore Buffalo runs tours of downtown public art at $5 for students. If you think you’ve exhausted the art scene of Buffalo by visiting the Albright Knox, you couldn’t be more wrong.

The first Friday of every month is a big night for art lovers in Buffalo – The Albright Knox is open until 10 p.m. and free to the public on the first Friday of every month.

With the exhibition “Sincerely Yours” closing Sept. 14, this is the perfect time to check it out. The exhibit consists of works by Frieda Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí. They will be on display among some nostalgic Buffalo favorites like Lucas Samaras’ “Room No. 2,” commonly known as the Mirror Room.

Be sure to take off your shoes and take a selfie in the fully mirrored room. It’s surreal.

Also on First Friday’s at the Albright Knox, memberships are discounted by 20 percent, which means student memberships are $20, compared to the normal $25. Buying a membership allows free access to the gallery as well as free or reduced admission to special events. You also receive reciprocal memberships to Empire State museums around New York including the Burchfield Penney Art Center – directly across the street from the Albright Knox.

Already tired of dining hall food?

This Friday, Sept. 5, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. is the Allentown Farmer’s Market on Elmwood Avenue, located between Virginia and Edward Streets. This is an opportunity to get some fresh produce and whip up an end-of-summer produce feast. You can spend a few hours gathering up your harvest and then see the rest of the neighborhood with First Friday Greater Allentown Gallery Walk, which includes art, artists, music performances and food.

The galleries of Allentown are free to the public until around 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month – some will be open until 11 p.m., others close their doors at 7 p.m. Spend the night wandering through the bohemian, historic neighborhood of Allentown – grab a margarita at Don Tequila’s, a slice of pizza at either Crust or Allentown Pizza, a craft beer at Hardware Café and stop in Rust Belt Books to peruse for some inexpensive and unexpected gems.

A rather crazy find, the Glamour and Glow: Day of the Dead black light fashion, music and art performance event will be held at Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls Saturday Sept. 6. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20.

The event is in its second year in Western New York but is, according to Rapids Theatre’s website, the largest performance event of its kind in the nation. Everything will be illuminated by black light, even as models show off local designer fashion, body paint and theatrical hair extensions. Even circus arts will take the stage, accompanied by some serious visual effects. With Day of the Dead as this year’s theme, Glamour and Glow sounds like a really trippy time, to say the least.

If you think of Sundays the way I do – as a time for serious relaxation – then maybe checking out events all over the city isn’t your cup of tea. Instead, and this is something I will return to over and over throughout the semester, find a new park and spend a few hours drinking coffee, reading a book and pondering the ways of the world.

Over the summer I was introduced to River Fest Park in the Old First Ward and can’t wait to return to watch the water at one of the benches lined up alongside of the Buffalo Ship Canal. You can take in the industrial and yet, magnificent silos that once made Buffalo a major industrial hub (and extremely wealthy, as you’ll notice by the expansive homes in many of Buffalo’s neighborhoods) all while basking in the late summer sun.

email: emma.janicki@ubspectrum.com