ART REACH WESTERN NEW YORK
In the wake of the 2016 election of Donald Trump, four feminists engrained in the art world of Buffalo came together with an idea. Karen Eckert, Maria Pabico LaRotonda, Beth Smith and Emily Tucker found themselves together at an art opening at LaRotonda’s gallery on Hertel Avenue. “We were all feeling very stressed about the future of our country,” says Tucker. “We all felt like we needed to do something.”
Each of the four women are already heavily involved in the art scene of Buffalo. Tucker and LaRotonda own commercial art galleries (Benjaman Gallery and Revolution Gallery respectively) and Eckert runs the custom art commission and online gallery, Collect Art. In addition, Smith and Tucker serve together on the board of the alternative art space Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. “As we talked about our various skill sets and passions, our mission became clear,” explains Eckert, “We could use our creativity and connections to raise money for organizations that are in jeopardy under the new administration.” After a few more meetings, ArtReach was formed, a mission statement crafted, and a slate of events conceived.