The University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts in Amherst will become an open laboratory of artistic experimentation this afternoon, as the UB Art Gallery hosts a venue-wide celebration known as the Big Draw. The event, part of a larger cultural phenomenon that began in Great Britain in 2000 and soon spread to cities around the world, is an attempt to encourage public conversation with artists and to extend the reach of the arts into places it might not otherwise go.

Buffalo's version of the Big Draw, timed to coincide with the ongoing UB Art Gallery exhibition "Falling Through Space Drawn by the Line," will feature open studios, performances, special installations and other projects by students in the university's architecture, media study, music, theater, dance and visual studies departments. The whole affair, a release claims, will create "an experimental space to test our ideas and strategies for drawing, leading to fun and zany expressions of creativity."

The event is free, with more info at 645-6913 or

– Colin Dabkowski