When in doubt, throw a party.
That was the sage conclusion of the staff at Buffalo Arts Studio, the storied arts organization housed on the fifth floor of the TriMain Center, when the topic of a 2013 fundraiser came up.
And it’s tough to argue with that philosophy when the party in question is the tried-and-true triennial affair known as Trimania, the four previous incarnations of which have gone down as some of the biggest and most successful one-night art events in the city.
“We kept on trying to come up with fundraisers that would be fun to have, and we kept coming up with Trimania all over again,” said BAS Executive and Artistic Director Cori Wolff. “Everybody already is always asking us when the next Trimania is going to come.”
Answer: The next Trimania is Saturday, two years after the most recent version in 2011 instead of the customary three. On Saturday, the bustling former industrial complex on Main Street will become one giant exhibition space for a dizzying array of artistic projects and performances ranging from live mural painters and roving interactive art installations to a one-night revival of the former alternative art space Sugar City. The whole evening, much bigger than its 2011 predecessor, will be set to the music of 26 bands and DJs, from Trimania vets like Family FUNKtion and the Sitar Jams and members of Babik to newcomers like DJs Cutler and Lulu.
Wolff, who took the reins of the organization last year, said the goal with this year’s Trimania was to be as eclectic as possible as well as to usher in a younger crowd.
“If anything,” Wolff said, “we were just like, ‘Who wants to be included?’ ”
Lots of people, as it turns out.
As in past years, other tenants in the TriMain Center, from the studios of artists like Dorothy Fitzgerald, Monica Angle and David Derner to nonprofits like Grassroots Gardens and Aspire of Western New York, will open their doors to visitors for open houses.
Three new murals, by OGRE, Max West and Max Collins, will be either unveiled or produced live during the event. At least five dance troupes, including the popular burlesque troupe the Stripteasers and an outfit known as Contortion Dance, will perform. And for the first time, comedy and spoken word make an appearance in the TriMain headquarters of Western New York Deaf Adult Services, with performances from the Dykes of Hazard and readings from Mark Goldman, George Grace and others.
The Queen City Roller girls will weave through the TriMain Center’s echoing hallways on skates from one art installation or studio to the next. This year’s site-specific installations include a wedding chapel constructed by local artists Jeff Mace and John Toohill, who will perform actual marriages for anyone who might want them, and a roving project called “Choose Your Own Artventure” by Tara Sasiadek and Jon Furman.
Buffalo Arts Studio will also use the opportunity to open its next pair of exhibitions, featuring Buffalo artists James A. Allen and Adele Henderson, in its own gallery space.
Allen’s exhibition of paintings, “Tears, and No Tears,” are based on tragic events ranging from the Sept. 11 attacks to last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn. “My aspiration is to make vivid images, ones that will take you to a place of stimulation, contemplation, and, hopefully, some aesthetic reward,” Allen wrote in a statement.
Henderson’s show, “Good Question, Thanks for Asking,” includes about 20 globes that have been modified from their original forms and often collaged-over to suggest strange new topographies.
Potential Trimaniacs are advised to check out the full schedule on the BAS website.
This year’s Trimania, Wolff said, aims to far outdo 2011’s event, both in the volume and variety of performances and participants and in the audience draw. It its heyday, the Trimania fundraiser attracted on the order of 3,000 visitors, a number Wolff said the organization is shooting for again.
“It’s very important,” Wolff said of Trimania’s contribution to the BAS budget. “It takes $30,000 just to put on an event like this. [But] it goes a long way.”
Trimania highlights, floor by floor
The official Trimania program includes dozens of musical performers, DJs, roving art installations and performances of all imaginable stripes. Here’s a floor-by-floor look at some of the highlights:
• First floor: In the Trimania lobby, DJs Lulu and Chreath will spin from 8 to 9:30 p.m. while aerial dancer Ashley Vita Verde does her vertiginous brand of performance. Projection artist PROJEX will also present work in the lobby from 9:45 to 11:15 p.m.
• Second floor: During the VIP preparty from 7 to 8 p.m., artist Fotini Galanes will do a live drawing while the AcaBellas ensemble performs. Later, Suite 240 will host a silent art auction as well as the Buffalo Hula Hoop Group, fire dancers from Spun Out Fire Productions, roaming performance art by Neil L. Coletta and Kristi Meal and a performance by comedy group Dykes of Hazard at 10:30 p.m.
• Third floor: If music is your thing, the third floor is the place to be.Musical performers include Down to the Roots at 8 p.m., Hot Club of Buffalo featuring members of Babik at 9 p.m. and again at 11 and the Mordaunt Sisters at midnight.
• Fourth floor: The higher you go, the weirder it gets.Floor four features the experience known as Cosmic Dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m., The World of Sitler HQ light show at 8 and Andrew J. Reimers’ Country Punk Extravaganza at 10.
• Fifth floor: There’s way too much happening on the fifth floor to sum up neatly, buthere are a few picks: The artist known as OGRE will be performing live art from 8 to 9 p.m. in Suite 542 while fellow artist Max Collins offers live photo mural down the hall. What Would Mingus Do? plays at 8:45 p.m. in Suite 500, not far from where Buffalo Arts Studio opens two exhibitions by artists James A. Allen and Adele Henderson.
– Colin Dabkowski