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Supporting and Promoting Inclusion in the Arts Since 2005

Starlight Studio & Art Gallery

Upcoming & Current Exhibits 

Struttin' Our Stuff

Opening Reception:
July 15, 2022
6-9pm


Exhibit On-View through August 2022

 
Summer Sale of works by Starlight Artists

Come and check out new, lush and colorful artworks! 

Paintings- Drawings- Textiles- Ceramics- Notecards- Books  

Hear the words of wisdom and delight from the Starlight Writers at 7pm. 
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Off-Site Exhibit at Flight Gallery:
Taking Off Together

On-view at Flight Gallery in Flying Bison Brewing Company:
840 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210

 
We are excited to announce a group exhibition featuring artwork from the Starlight Studio Artists and students from Cantalician Center for Learning!

Artists grow and learn by studying other artists. The school at the Cantalician Center for Learning and Learning Disabilities Association, the parent agency of Starlight Studio, are "taking off" together to merge into one agency where they will learn and influence each other.  Inspired by this metaphor of birds taking flight, our artists created artworks featuring birds. The bright colors and imagery remind us that spring is here with the promise of new growth. 
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CCL Student- Foam Print

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Zeyneb Johnson- "Raven" 

Blue Sink Cafe Solo Exhibit
Kelly Evans: World of Imagination

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Dana Lynn Graap  The Whole Shebang!

6/2/1972-1/25/2022

Dana thought big and aspired to influence others. She accomplished this on numerous fronts.

In 2008 Dana joined the Starlight team of artists. At that time her primary focus was ceramics. She presented her creations as being part of a series, which she would refer to as her “Fall Collection” or her “Holiday Collection”, etc.  She had very specific instructions about how her art should be handled, often leaving lengthy hand-written instructions to the teaching artists.

Dana delighted the staff and other artists with her emphatic ways.  She not only emphasized her wishes, but she also underscored others’ opinions and feelings. She was an enthusiastic cheerleader for her peers and sometimes their mouthpiece if she felt their cause needed her support.

At times Dana worked as the studio’s Town Crier. She would yell out to the art studio what Lunch Express, a traveling sandwich shop, was selling for the day. When Lunch Express went out of business and Starlight started its own snack shop, Dana assumed the role again of announcing the lunch offerings.  This performance always made everyone smile.

Dana was an enthusiastic participant at Starlight; she was always up for a community outing. We are grateful for the pictures we have of her at many Buffalo landmarks: Canalside; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Burchfield-Penney Art Center; Parkside Candy; the Anderson Gallery; Indigo Gallery; Daily Planet Coffee Shop; the Broadway Market; the Downtown Library to name a few.  Beyond community outings, Dana took full advantage of what the Starlight Program offered.  Her collections of ceramic pieces and later large paintings, drawings and mixed media works were included in numerous group exhibitions at Starlight.

2018 was a year of significant accomplishments for Dana. In May 2018 she was featured in our exhibition series, Side by Each where her large paintings were shown alongside the paintings of James Paulsen. But perhaps Dana’s crowning achievement was in November 2018 when her original play, Hot Rock Hotel was staged at Alleyway Theatre. The play, which she wrote with the support of Beth Geyer, Unique Theatre’s artistic director, is set in a Las Vegas hotel.  The play’s main character (whom Dana based on herself) owns the hotel.  Writing the script, Dana was fueled by her vision of her fellow Starlight artists in the roles. She conceived of them as an ex-stripper, a chef, a waitress, a police officer, and a football player to name a few.

Dana’s imagination was vast. She pored over art history books and wrote and sketched steadily in her notebooks. She had an understanding of political power and the need to advocate for herself and others with disabilities. In a documentary about Dana, created by the Starlight staff with Squeaky Wheel in 2014, entitled The Whole Shebang, Dana tells the interviewer that people need to accept people with disabilities, “don’t be afraid of us, talk to us”. 

Dana’s small shoes and big personality will live on at Starlight Studio. Her laugh, her smile, her notebooks chock full of pencil drawings and writings, her abundance of clay creations, and her huge paintings will remain etched in our memories.

To honor Dana Graap and her singular vision, Starlight will host an event this spring where we will view The Whole Shebang, her animation, The Obamas and read the Hot Rock Hotel. Stay tuned for a date and time. In the meantime, “don’t be afraid of us” and please do “talk to us”.

THANK YOU JOE FISCHER!

Art Educator and Painter Gives Generous Gift to Starlight Studio & Art Gallery


Joe Fischer of Longview, Washington, generously donated $50,000 to Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, a vibrant art studio in downtown Buffalo that supports adults with disabilities in their artistic development.

 
Joe Fischer served in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller and Graphic Artist in the 1950’s and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon in 1963. Fischer has educated and created opportunities for artists across the country including during his almost 30-year tenure as the Director of the Creative Craft Center at the State University of NY at Buffalo from 1965 to 1994.


The Creative Craft Center was the largest Non-academic / Academic craft center in the country. University at Buffalo students and community members studied weaving, pottery, metals, stained glass and photography; Fischer’s focus of instruction was drawing and painting. Jim Puglisi, the next director of the Craft Center added, “Joe was great, I was fortunate to have him as my mentor and friend. He created deep bonds with his students; some he continues to instruct and advise today from 3,000 miles away”.


Mr. Fischer has exhibited his paintings in many galleries in New York State and in the Pacific Northwest; his artwork is in collections across the globe including Canada, Ecuador, Norway, and Sweden. As an educator, he taught at Empire State College from 1975-1994 and at the University of Buffalo from 1970-1994.


Marc Hennig, CEO of Learning Disabilities Association of WNY of which Starlight Studio is a program, says, “Starlight Studio & Art Gallery will use this gift to expand its program and create new opportunities for artists with disabilities in the Buffalo community.” 


Starlight will be creating an enhanced ceramics studio within the space at 340 Delaware Avenue as well as refreshing other areas for greater usability and comfort of the artists. Carrie Marcotte, the program director of Starlight Studio and Art Gallery was thrilled to learn of the donation and Mr. Fischer’s deep involvement in the arts in Buffalo, “We are forever grateful for Joe Fischer’s gift to us.  It was fun to also realize that we had a connection to Joe Fischer through one of our first teaching artists, Carrianne Hendrickson. Carrianne taught for-credit classes in ceramics at the Creative Craft Center and put us on Jim Puglisi’s radar. Jim has continued to be a supporter of our sales and fundraising initiatives. Now with this gift from Joe Fischer we can expand what Carrianne started here back in 2005; we are thankful for this full circle of support!”

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Joe Fischer and his dog

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A recent painting of twins by Joe Fischer

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Starlight Artist, Kelly Evans with her portrait of
Joe Fischer and his dog!

Supporting Starlight Studio & Art Gallery and other programs and services through the LDA of WNY is easy.
Each tax deductible donation will go directly towards enhancing and developing services that support the dreams and needs of the individuals we serve. We know that together we can make a difference in the lives of those who mean the most to us.