The 464 Gallery, which has maintained a dizzying exhibition schedule and hosted a rapidly expanding roster of local artists since its opening in 2009, has created a bona fide alternative art scene around its Amherst Street headquarters.
Tonight, as 464 owner and founder Marcus Wise launches a new quarterly glossy art magazine known as Spark, that scene will be on full display. The new publication will be the focus of a busy evening at the gallery, where work by some 40 artists will be on view in its annual members exhibition.
The reception will also feature open artist studios, an appearance by the Lloyd Taco Truck, and live mural painting by 464 members Chuck Tingley, Max Collins and others.
Since its inception, 464 Gallery has cast itself as a resolutely alternative space open to artists who -- for reasons of experience, training or mind-set -- have not found or sought a place in the mainstream art scene.
"I've had a lot of different people come to me who didn't really know how to break out, so I've worked with these people very closely, one-on-one," Wise said. "Sometimes I was learning along with them, figuring out: how can they get their work properly presented, how can they get it out into other galleries?"
The gallery has attracted emerging artists like Tingley, who joined 464 a month after its opening and saw his career grow by leaps and bounds along with the gallery. But 464 is also beginning to attract veteran artists; its latest show featured work by Jozef Bajus, a Buffalo State College design professor who has been contributing work to the city's various established galleries for years.
The artists who have coalesced around 464, Wise suggested, are united by a desire to experiment and improve their work with a support structure that doesn't exist in many other places.
"We really talk to each other. We ask each other questions about our artwork and get critiques from one another," he said. "I think it's that sense of sharing that really binds us together."
The new, ad-free magazine is an outgrowth of that mind-set, and, Wise said, attempts to draw some needed and in-depth attention to artists who might otherwise fly beneath the radar of potential gallerygoers. Its first issue features interviews with Tingley and Collins, along with other artists.
In addition to the writing, Wise said, "I also think that it gets the actual physical artwork out there. There's something so nice about a physical publication as opposed to seeing something online. I'd also think for other artists who maybe haven't had the courage or don't know how to do this, they can look at these stories as little bits of inspiration."
Spark magazine launch and fourth Annual Members Show
WHEN: Reception, 6 tonight; show runs through Aug. 19
WHERE: 464 Gallery, 464 Amherst St.
INFO: 983-2112 or www.464gallery.com