Since arriving in Buffalo a few years ago, Caitlin Cass has been a quiet but persistent presence on the city’s visual arts scene. She has presented her clever comics as part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, gallery group shows and last year’s Squeaky Wheel fundraiser, where she mounted a performance called “The Artist Finds an Excuse to Talk to People She Normally Wouldn’t Talk to About Things We Normally Do Not Talk About.”

Now, Cass’ work – specifically her ongoing series called “Great Moments in Western Civilization” – will be the focus of a solo exhibition opening Saturday in the Olean Public Library (134 N. Second St., Olean). The show will feature drawings that show various historical characters engaged in a Sysiphean effort to construct rickety towers.

“In this exhibit historical figures (real and archetypal) find themselves balancing atop impossible foundations,” Cass wrote in a statement about the show. “In the end, the figures almost always wind up back where they started: the black, chaotic abyss (depicted here literally as a sea of ink). This may sound dismal, but Caitlin strives to find heroes in this cyclical purgatory. She asks viewers to remember that falling back into the abyss offers up an opportunity to begin again.”

The show’s opening reception starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, with a talk by the artist at 3. It runs through March 2. Call 372-0200 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski