There’s a new art gallery in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood, and it’s exactly what you need after over a year of not being able to experience indoor art in person.
Rivalry Projects is a contemporary art gallery and arts production space created by artist and curator Ryan Arthurs. A Western New York native, Ryan moved away from Buffalo in his adulthood to experience other places, but Buffalo was never far away from his thoughts. He would visit frequently, checking in on the city and watching it grow from afar.
Ryan Arthurs of Rivalry Projects | Photo by Nando Alvarez-Perez
“You know, I had that itch to come back to Buffalo, and (on one my visits) I realized that Buffalo now had the room and need for a space like this,” Ryan said. And thus, Rivalry Projects was born.
The name Rivalry is not about competition – that’s the last thing on Ryan’s mind. He believes in collaboration and loves being a part of Buffalo’s thriving arts scene. Rather, the word rivalry is meant to make us think about the facets we have as human beings. We all have aspects of ourselves that might seem like “rivals”, but it’s about finding the balance between these selves, and that’s what Rivalry is all about.
The building itself is newly renovated and beautiful. The front room is airy and crisp – a perfect setting for exhibitions of any kind. There is also a room at the back that will serve multiple purposes, whether it be studio space, a production space or even a second exhibition space.
Rivalry Projects is going to be sure to spread the love to local, national and international artists, with a strong goal to reflect a diversity of artists and artwork.
I had the opportunity to get a tour of Rivalry’s newest exhibition Pleasure Cruise, which opened on October 1st, and was blown away. Pleasure Cruise features artwork by four different artists working within ceramics, drawing, photography, and sculpture. The exhibition brings up concepts of queerness, vessels/cruises, and queer spaces out at sea (and the loss of these spaces, which years ago were indispensable, in our modern world).
“We work with artists whose practices, backgrounds, and disciplines reflect a wealth of outside perspectives,” Ryan explains, “Pleasure cruise fits into our vision for the gallery by opening up space for multi-faceted understandings of contemporary queer identity and how identity intersects with ecology.”
Hearing Ryan talk about the artwork, the artists and the concepts that weave through each piece was inspiring, and it was exciting to hear his obvious passion for art and what he’s bringing to Buffalo. As
Rivalry Projects’ final exhibit for 2021, Pleasure Cruise, will run until December 18th and is not to be missed.
Rivalry Projects is open on Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5pm. Walk right on in and experience some incredible art!