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One of the more ambitious artistic projects to be launched in Western New York in recent memory is now underway in the main gallery of the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.), where artists, curators and construction workers are building a prototype for an art-filled barge that may float down the Erie Canal as early as next summer.

On Friday night, as part of the center’s monthly free Second Fridays program, the first phase of the process will open to the public. Called “Displacement: Barge Prototype,” the exhibition continues through Oct. 19. Also opening during the Second Fridays event is an exhibition featuring sculptures by Jesse Walp, who was the subject of a recent solo exhibition in Buffalo Arts Studio. That show, called “Ripe,” contains biomorphic shapes and forms inspired by nature.

And from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on the Burchfield Penney’s second-floor terrace, Squeaky Wheel will present the latest performance in its “Silent/Sound” series, featuring Buffalo band The Vores playing a live soundtrack to a collection of experimental silent films by Ralph Steiner, Fernand Leger and Man Ray. The evening also includes a musical tribute to Sun Ra by the group Unusually Different in the center’s front yard from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Admission is free on Friday, but otherwise $5 to $10. Call 878-6011 or visit burchfieldpenney.org.

– Colin Dabkowski