Buffalo vs. Detroit, an Art Showdown

There’s a little inter-Rust Belt rivalry going on right now.

Abandoned crochet work from the Packard Plant in Detroit. Photo: Christen Clifford

The antagonist is Buffalo. Inspired by Detroit’s DIY art scene, especially Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg project, Buffalo is nurturing a cross-regional artistic competition.

Artist Christen Clifford, a NYC-based Buffalo expat, is the brains behind a large scale art installation that seeks to imbue the Buffalo art scene with the same activist flavor as Detroits’.

Clifford is asking Buffalo area residents, as well as expats from near and far, to contribute to a knitting project. They are planning a 167-foot knitted strip, representing the 16,719 abandoned houses in the city. The fabric will then be hung on Buffalo’s infamous Central Terminal.

Clifford is called the project Buffalo vs. Detroit: Opportunity City Deathmatch. It will be part of the Echo Art Fair, of which Rust Wire is a media sponsor, taking place July 8 and 9th.

Clifford had this to say about the installation:

The project highlights the deep interrelations between knitting and mathematics, homemade dedication and the struggle to stay warm; it’s a combination of architecture and craft. It is a commentary on de-industrialization and housing and, hopefully, becomes a beacon of community interaction. It draws on the importance of warmth, of keeping something or someone warm. It pulls on my sense of motherhood and urgency to nurture. It brings a sense of home, of what was and what can be to a blighted section of Buffalo struggling to survive.

The installation will also include chalk drawings that are inspired by Detroit’s Guyton.

I see this as a big compliment to Detroit. Your art scene definitely has a distinctive brand that is inspiring followers. Maybe Buffalo isn’t too far behind.

-AS

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Filed under Art, Featured, Good Ideas

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