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Buffalo's grain elevators, subjects of so much recent art and activity, serve as static symbols of an impossibly grand past and empty vessels waiting to be filled with the bold ideas of a new century. But unlike many artists for whom the symbolic nature of the grain silos takes precedence over their original function, photographer Gene Witkowski is more interested in the active commercial nature of these hulking concrete structures.

“The artist reminds us that our port is active and should not be eulogized just yet,” a Burchfield Penney Art Center release reads.

His photographs of grain silo workers and the vestiges of commercial shipping activity along the Buffalo River go on view Friday night in the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.) in an exhibition titled “At the Waterfront.” The show, which runs through Oct. 26, is part of the center's monthly First Fridays event, a free party featuring openings and performances.

Other highlights of Friday's celebration include live music from Buffalo bands Crows and Jays and Folkfaces in the Front Yard, the center's outdoor sound and video exhibition space at the corner of Rockwell Road and Elmwood Avenue, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The crowd will then move inside the center to watch a new dance piece, a collaboration between artist Colleen Ludwig and LehrerDance called “Sinew. Then it's back to the Front Yard to watch a live video and audio performance by Phillip Stearn called “Resonance + Luminance.”

For more info, call 878-6011 or visit www.burchfieldpenney.org.