50 Years at The Center

Since 1966, the Burchfield Penney Art Center has been dedicated to the vision of American master Charles E. Burchfield and to the diverse art and artists of Western New York. Experience a year of special exhibitions and events commemorating this golden anniversary. It’s time to celebrate at The Center.

Community Art Party

Join us for this once-in-a-half century cultural happening celebrating the Burchfield Penney’s 50th anniversary. Live music will fill the galleries, hallways, and elevators. Site-specific installations by artists will appear in spaces you’d least expect. Come experience Western New York art and find yourself at The Center.


GOLDEN is part of M&T Second Friday, and is free and open to the public.

Art Installations by:
Avye Alexandres
Stanzi Vaubel, Carlie Todoro-Rickus, Su Hyun Nam
Dorothea Braemer
Karen Buchner
Jennifer Seaman Cook
Dana Mcknight
Marc Tomko
Mickey Harmon (Grovey Cleves)
Sara Baker Michalak
Ben Perrone

Music By:

5:30 pm – Zak Ward in the East Gallery
6:30 pm – dev11n & Chūshō-Ko in the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium
7:00 pm – Dashuri Egriu & Jenevieve in the East Gallery
7:30 pm – Jacob Peter in the Reception Space
8:30 pm – Tiny Rhymes in the East Gallery
9:30 pm –  Alex Berkley in the East Gallery


6 pm – 11 pm in the Freight Elevator
4 B-LO
Gabriella Carlo
My Rap Name Is Alex (Alex Mead)


7 pm – 10 pm
Seth Girod (Roving Musician)


Exhibitions On View

The Birthday Party: A Community of Artists—on view through December 11, 2016

The art of Charles E. Burchfield, Virginia Cuthbert, Harriet Greif, Seymour Drumlevitch, Virginia Tillou, Martha Visser’t Hooft and Philip Elliot demonstrate the variety of works created by the circle of friends depicted in Cuthbert’s painting, The Birthday Party. Community is the essence of the Burchfield Penney—a community of artists and a community of art lovers, coming together at The Center. As The Birthday Party reveals through its divergent-yet-harmonious composition, we are as much different as we are alike.


Jozef Bajus: Nothing is Going Away—on view through January 29, 2017

Jozef Bajus, recipient of the 2016 Langley Kenzie Award, makes sculpture out of discarded materials from our culture. Too often we rely upon, “I’m throwing this away,” as an end to our societal obligation. But what if we had to take on the byproducts of all of our consumption? Bajus accepts this challenge, embracing it as a responsibility. Nothing is Going Away presents an alternate future, far from the landfill. Bajus’ beautiful sculptures dare all of us to embrace these possibilities.


Babs Reingold: The Last Tree—on view through February 26, 2017

The Last Tree, an installation by artist Babs Reingold, confronts social issues within the context of environment, beauty and poverty. In the installation, each of the world’s 193 recognized countries are symbolized by a fabricated stump encircled by fabric roots. A lone, last tree, isolated and stark, rises in the desolate plain of barrenness. A video looms above this graveyard, portending what will be. The sound of rhythmic chopping, accompanied by a soundtrack created by Lin Culbertson, is mesmeric in its meter, deepening the experience. 


Charles Cary Rumsey: Success in the Gatsby Era—on view through June 25, 2017

Examine the life of Charles Cary Rumsey (18791922)—a socially-connected, wealthy man who earned national respect for his military service, athletic abilities and his art—through a selection of sculptures, archival objects, vintage photographs and other ephemera, some of which have never been shown publicly. Together they present a detailed picture of the artist and his circle of friends and family, while entertaining the possibility that Rumsey is reflected in one of the most famous fictional characters in American literature, Tom Buchanan.


Here!—on view through March 26, 2017

Who are we? What does “Western New York” mean outside the community that claims it? And perhaps the more difficult questions to answer directly and succinctly: What is our region? How are we unique? And how have we developed an identity? Who is Buffalo and Western New York? The best expressions of ourselves often emerge from a collection of imagery and objects, calling forth prevailing themes and touchstones. Here! explores our shared identity, presenting works from the Burchfield Penney Art Center and private collections.


The First Exhibition: 50 Years with Charles E. Burchfield—on view through February 26, 2017 

Charles E. Burchfield (18931967) cut the threshold ribbon, opening the Charles Burchfield Center on December 9, 1966. 50 years later, The First Exhibition reunites Burchfield masterworks from public and private collections, most of which were recent paintings at the time of the 1966 opening. Related studies and archival materials that The Center has since acquired, including the only gift of artwork made by the artist during his lifetime, provide additional insight.


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