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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!

Click the donate button below if you would like to help contribute to the expansion of our studio!

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