Encouraging community through art
Being an artist takes talent, patience, creativity, and time. Along with these individual traits, being surrounded by a community of fellow artists offers encouragement and support. Within the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Art Guild has been working to support local artists and encourage art awareness in the community.
Buffalo Art Guild
Established as a non-profit in 2009, the art guild began as a way for professional artists to connect and support each other, but now it has expanded into a place for all artists, professional, amateur, or simply those interested in learning.
Sarah Hoppe, the current Chair of the guild, considers herself an amateur artist and appreciates the community of creatives.
“I really enjoy the different people and members of the guild,” Hoppe said. “I like to learn new things, and it’s fun to participate and be creative.”
For artists wanting to join, the annual $25 membership fee pays for workshops and access to venues to display their artwork; all are welcome to attent the monthly meetings. The guild currently partners with five businesses in Buffalo that display members’ artwork in their buildings. Thrivent Financial, Buffalo Chiropractic Clinic, Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic, Allina Medical Clinic, and MidCountry Bank feature artwork that gets rotated throughout the year.
Along with the space to show their work, members can also suggest workshop ideas or ask for a certain medium to be discussed. Learning about printmaking, pottery, watercolor, and other mediums can expand their art knowledge and offer the opportunity to grow in their skills.
Though their monthly meetings have looked differently due to Covid-19 these past few months, Hoppe and the rest of the team are making sure the community is filled with creativity. Weekly artistic challenges are posted on Facebook for the artists to participate in, and they recently hosted a drive-thru art show on Aug. 17.
Drive-Thru Art Show
Covid-19 couldn’t keep the guild from celebrating their artists and offering the community a chance to see their work. Getting creative with social distancing guidelines, the guild transformed the Buffalo Presbyterian Church’s parking lot into an outdoor gallery. With artists displaying their work in and around their vehicles, attendees were able to safely view the art from their vehicles or by walking around at safe distances.
“It was a beautiful night,” Hoppe said. “It was so nice for people to see each other. People other than guild members came, and even members who didn’t have art in the show came, too.”
Those attending the show had the opportunity to purchase artwork as well. This connection to the artists promotes supporting local creatives as they work to raise awareness of art.
“Everyone was so happy to see the show,” Hoppe said. “It meant so much to experience it and just spend time with other artists.”
Learn About Art
With about 50 members, the guild has been seeing steady growth, and Hoppe is encouraged by the number of artists and locals interested in supporting the guild.
“It’s a great group of people,” she said. “There’s also the generosity of them donating their art to be used in the venues for others to see and enjoy.”
The Buffalo Art Guild connects with members and the public through their Facebook page and an e-mail newsletter. For any artist, amateur, or curious person looking to join or learn more, they are invited to visit the Facebook page or e-mail Treasurer Wayne Hein to receive “Palette Notes,” their newsletter: email@example.com.