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Joe Orffeo Remembered in The Buffalo News

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Joseph Orffeo of Colden, a local artist and sculptor whose work spanned six decades, died Wednesday in Mercy Hospital. He was 87.

During World War II, the Buffalo native served in the Navy Armed Guard and was stationed in the South Pacific. After his military service, he studied at the Art Institute of Buffalo, where he had his first solo show in 1951. Several other solo and juried group shows followed over the years.

In 1971, Mr. Orffeo served as an instructor and head of the Art Department for the Urban Art Project. He was a painting instructor at the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art in 1974.

In 1985, just prior to a full-scale exhibition of his acrylic paintings and drawings, then-Buffalo News Art Critic Richard Huntington described Mr. Orffeo as “one of those rare artists who paints for the pure pleasure of it.”

“He makes his living as a barber, rarely exhibits, and displays his work mainly for friends. An Orffeo exhibition, when it happens, is more likely than not to be at a little-known place,” Huntington added.

Mr. Orffeo is survived by his wife of 42 years, the former Linda Pilger, and three sons, Remy, Jerome and Andres.

A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. April 27 in the Colden Fire Hall, 8448 Gutekunst, Colden.