Our dream for the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art is that we live up to our name: to be a place where new ideas and projects can germinate in response to the needs of the world around us. Without writing, without discourse, and without critical thought the dark matter of the art world–all the stuff that happens outside the spotlights of New York or Los Angeles, Basel or Berlin–remains unseen and unconsidered.
In June of 2019, we invited Lindsay Preston Zappas to BICA for an exhibition and writing workshop. Lindsay is a fantastic artist, and she also started a magazine, Carla, with a small loan and a huge amount of gumption. She has built an arts media empire, and the Los Angeles art community is better off for it.
We figured that maybe if we got Lindsay to Buffalo we could inspire that same DIY ambition. The energy in the workshop she ran, and the response to it proved to us that there is a critical mass of support and desire for a project like this in our region. The writing that came from the workshop filled the pages of the first issue of Cornelia, launched in August of 2019. And that is how Cornelia was born.
Named in honor of Cornelia Bentley Sage Quinton–a painter, as well as the first woman to serve as the director of an art museum in the US at the Albright Knox Art Galleries, and the only Buffalonian to serve as the director of the museum–we hope to honor and record the history and future of the arts in this region.
Ultimately, we hope this project serves three purposes:
The spirit of Cornelia is to bust through glass ceilings and gallery doors, to kindle conversations, and to help audiences old and new engage with the visual art being made in the Western New York and Southern Ontario region.
This project won’t continue without the generous support of donors and sponsors. If you like what you read, or support what we’re doing please make a donation through the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art.