2020 promised to be a pivotal year for Buckham Fine Arts Project (BFAP) and brought with it challenges and opportunities for growth. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, BFAP was able to present eight visual art exhibitions in the physical gallery and twelve virtual exhibitions, showcasing works by local, state, national and international artists. In addition, BFAP hosted supplemental events: Open Mic performance events, Cider & Slides, and implemented virtual programming. With much gratitude to our funders, BFAP was able to be flexible and grow with new challenges when presented, rather than hibernating or shutting down permanently.
Our audience was able to view our January and February exhibitions in the gallery before Buckham Gallery was forced to close in mid-March. These exhibitions were able to have opening receptions held in conjunction with Flint’s Second Friday Art Walk, which were suspended due to COVID-19. The closures also resulted in the cancellation of the annual fundraiser, Cool City Art Auction.
Since April, Buckham Gallery has developed robust online programming that provides opportunities for our audience to view gallery exhibitions and programming from home. Online programming has also provided Buckham a platform to engage with new audiences and we will continue to produce online engagement opportunities post-pandemic. Virtual talks with exhibiting artists are posted on the gallery’s YouTube Channel. With online viewing rooms echoing gallery exhibitions, Buckham has successfully created online programming that engages our audience as we adapt to the limitations imposed by the pandemic.
2020 Exhibition and Supplemental Programming In January, Buckham Gallery hosted two concurrent exhibitions: Permeable, featuring Dominique Chastenet de Géry and Ardea Thurston-Shaine from Ann Arbor, included artist talks in the gallery; and Infinite Reflections, which featured work by Norwegian artist Vanessa Rosalia Larsen. Buckham’s First Friday Open Mic Night and the inaugural Cider & Slides event, fostering deeper artistic dialogues with our community, were also mounted in January. Artist Talks with Chastenet de Géry and Thurston-Shaine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrCAU5xlf0Y&t=32s
February’s Eros & Thanatos, a national juried exhibition exploring the ancient Greek words for love and death was a highlight of the season. It was an incredible opportunity to forge ties with Kresge Fellow Ed Fraga. As juror, Fraga reviewed nearly 400 images using the Call For Entry platform to select the 63 works, which included paintings, drawings, sculpture, mixed media, and video artworks. Fraga also selected three artists to receive cash prizes. Eros & Thanatos was featured in an East Village Magazine article, including an interview with Ed Fraga. https://www.eastvillagemagazine.org/2020/02/19/review-buckham-show-shines-light-on-primal-obsessions-of-love-and-death/
As COVID-19 hit and we temporarily shut our physical doors in March, Buckham staff took the opportunity to develop online content and to rethink the way we engage with our audiences. We redeveloped our website into a virtual exhibition space allowing us to continue offering contemporary art programming to our homebound audience. We reinvigorated our social media feeds as tools to highlight past exhibitions, gallery history, and as a way to promote Flint artists.
BFAP presented its first formal virtual exhibition in June 2020. Selvageby Jim Arendt explores the shifting paradigms of labor and place through materials that resonate with work and the people engaged in it. A physical presentation of Selvage will be presented in 2021.
As we reopened our doors in July with a new COVID protocol policy, it was paramount that we continue to offer virtual means of experiencing our programming for those individuals who were unable or not ready to reenter the physical gallery. Physical exhibitions in the gallery are now complemented by online viewing rooms on our website. As we met the challenge of reaching our Flint audience at home, we discovered that we were now also reaching audiences not just regionally but nationally. Exhibition Director Michele Leclaire developed an ongoing series of recorded conversations with exhibiting artists via zoom which are posted to our YouTube channel and promoted through social media.
July 2020 Verisimilitude: From its inception, photography has reflected our desires for a perfect record created by nature and light. Verisimilitude brings together the work of four artists, Dominic Lippoillo, Casey McGuire, John Morris, and Mark Schoon, who examine the uneasy truce/dialogue between photography and its appearance of being true or real. https://www.buckhamgallery.org/july-2020-verisimilitude.html
November 2020 A Climate of Change, featured the Buckham Artist Collective Collaborators. This annual group show is a tradition for the Buckham Fine Arts Project. 2020’s A Climate of Change explores each artist’s interpretation of current events. Whether environmental climate change, political, racial, educational, social economical, or gender, it is a time of shifting paradigms. Presented concurrently, Shadows: 2020 Buckham Print Exchange, featured BFAP’s second annual print exchange. It is a collaborator-driven opportunity to make and trade prints with other printmakers. A Climate of Change: Online Viewing Room https://www.buckhamgallery.org/a-climate-of-change-viewing-room.html Shadows: 2020 Buckham Print Exchange https://www.buckhamgallery.org/shadows-2020-buckham-print-exchange.html
Programming and Community Enrichment First Friday Open Mic Programming that provides creative outlets for the community continued in 2020. Buckham Gallery kicked off 2020 with a special edition of First Friday Open Mic: New Year, New Works. The evening included live music, literary readings, spoken word, and comedy. The highest scoring performers were recipients of cash prizes. First Friday Open Mic continued through March but was suspended in early April due to COVID-19.
Cider & Slides Cider & Slides, a program that engages Flint’s creative community was piloted in January of 2020. Several artists and performers presented 10-15 minute slide shows that spurred conversations about creative topics.
BFAP: On Screen Buckham Fine Arts Project launched BFAP: On Screenin 2020. The project involves pairing invited artists with community-based Flint nonprofit organizations. The artists create original images highlighting the work of each non-profit and then work closely with printers at Flint’s Factory Two to produce limited edition screenprint posters for each organization. The limited edition prints will be sold by Buckham Gallery with proceeds from sales being donated to the featured nonprofit organization. Our goal is to complete 6 editions featuring 6 Flint community-based nonprofits by the end of 2021. https://www.buckhamgallery.org/bfap-on-screen.html
The total visitor count for exhibitions and events dropped significantly in 2020 due to COVID-19. Although canceled exhibitions and events resulted in a lower count, daily traffic through the gallery resumed normal levels once the gallery reopened in July. The total guest count for 2020 was 1,463; 806 of which visited the gallery during nonevent trips. Daily traffic through the gallery July through December averaged 85 guests per month.
During 2020, information about gallery events and exhibitions was posted on theBuckham Gallery website and Buckham’s social media platforms -Twitter,Facebook, andInstagram. Events were also posted onGeneseeFun.com. To reach a broader audience, Buckham advertises physical and online exhibitions and events exhibitions onArt Detroit Now. To reach artists across the country, calls-for-entries were posted on CAFE, a nation-wide visual arts submission website. Direct mail postcards were mailed in January, February, and March but due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, postcards were suspended in April. Buckham’s monthly email newsletters continued through 2020, and is sent monthly to a subscriber list of 500. Direct mail postcards will resume in January 2021 with a six-show announcement.
Buckham Artist Collective Sincere involvement is at the heart of a successful artist-lead organization. Buckham’s continued success depends upon the consistent involvement of practicing artists who are curious about what their peers in Flint and around the world are doing, and who are engaged with all the activities of our organization. The BAC consists of two levels for artists: BAC Collaborators (formerly artist-members) and Buckham Sustainers.
BAC Collaborators are practicing artists and performers who collaborate to further the goals of BFAP as defined by its mission statement and bylaws. Collaborators perform functions pursuant to the operation of BFAP and engage with artists and ideas locally and from outside the Flint area through exhibition, curation, and participation in lectures, panel discussions, and artist receptions. BAC Collaborators are committed to being at the center of Flint’s contemporary art community and to contribute to the dialogue with artists actively working outside of Flint.
BAC Collaborators 2020-2021 Guy Adamec Aisha Changezi Nic Custer, Board Chair John Dempsey Donovan Entrekin, Board Member Gary Gebhardt Andy Hill Craig Hinshaw, Board Member Robert Huebel Michele Leclaire Emily Legleitner Janice McCoy, Board Vice Chair and Exhibition Committee Chair Michael Melet Sam Morello Thomas Myers Corinne Nuzum, Board Secretary Matthew Osmon, Board Member Nancy Pennell Paul Rozycki Sam Selou Chris Waters Eddie Watkins Linda Lou Woodruff
Buckham Sustainers are those artists who clearly demonstrate a capacity and willingness to further the mission of Buckham Fine Arts Project and contribute their time and talents to assist concretely in expediting the artistic programing of BFAP, but who may not consistently produce artwork and cannot therefore commit to actively engaging as practicing artist.
Buckham Sustainers 2020-2021 Sally Kagerer, Board Member Mike Parker, Board Finance Officer Sally Strand
Buckham Fine Arts Project Community Membership Buckham members support and sustain Buckham’s mission to provide opportunities for our community to better understand and appreciate experimental and ambitious contemporary art. Members gain access to exclusive member-only events including special receptions and lectures, as well as discounted tickets to special events and fundraisers.
Buckham Friends: Edwin Custer, Frankie Hardy, Ken Randall
Associates: Rick Kagerer
Funding provides Buckham Fine Arts Project with stability, adequate staffing, and opportunities for growth. Despite the pandemic, operations, exhibitions, and programming continued to improve and realign with Buckham’s mission in 2020, engaging both a larger audience and an increasing number of artists. In November of 2020, the Buckham Gallery began a successful transition in leadership when Executive Director Lynn Penning announced her resignation and Exhibition Director Michele Leclaire was appointed as the new Executive Director. Leclaire will continue her role directing exhibitions and programming, but will also oversee gallery operations. Plans to add additional permanent staffing are in process with temporary positions filling current staffing needs.
During 2020, Vice-Chair Nic Custer was voted in as the new Board Chair. Janice McCoy was nominated and voted in as Vice-Chair. With a broad range of experience in the visual arts and nonprofit administration, Buckham’s Board of Directors effectively leads the gallery. Members of the gallery support the organization by contributing their talents and specialities to help with gallery events and operations.
Buckham Fine Arts Project is poised for growth. Under the guidance of our Board of Directors, gallery leadership is focused on the organization’s mission and the principles established by our founders. Aligning with current practices of contemporary art galleries, Buckham develops and presents unique, diverse, and high-quality gallery exhibitions to the Flint community. With Buckham’s focus on bringing quality contemporary art and cultural context to the residents of Flint and Genesee County, strong leadership from a new generation of members ensures the gallery will continue to play a relevant role in Michigan’s contemporary art culture. Our Board and Exhibition Committee is deeply involved with the local arts community, providing leadership that determines community needs through first-hand knowledge of the opportunities available in our community and an understanding of the ingredients present in highly successful and robust artistic communities throughout the country. We strive for a balance between satisfying the interests of existing audiences and developing programming which brings new audiences to Flint, thereby enriching our cultural scene as well as improving perceptions of Flint and drawing new dollars and participants into our local economy.
Buckham Fine Arts Project is funded in part through grants awarded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Michigan Council For Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the GFAC Share Art Genesee Grant Program. BFAP solicits sponsors for major exhibitions, and individual donors support the gallery through our annual appeal and general donations. In 2020, most of our non-grant funds derived from our exhibition call for entry fees, annual appeal and Board appeal donations (100% participation) and member dues. BFAP currently earns approximately 20% of its operational budget through call-for-entry fees, art sales, fundraisers, memberships, and donations. One of Buckham’s major goals is to increase non-grant income to 30% of our operational budget over the next two years.
Annual Appeal Donors Stanley Blood Richard Bodette Stephen R. Burton Aisha Changezi Sandra Cooper Edwin Custer Nancy Dash John Dempsey & Margo Lakin Kathleen & Robert Downs Donovan Entrekin Janis Hartranft Christina Haylett John Henry Lynne Hurand Karen & Martin Jennings Carol Masse Carol & Sam Morello Marg & Samuel Morello Janelle Nuzum Mike Parker Rebecca Pettengill Susan & Mark Phipps Nancy & Paul Rozycki Justin Scanlon Sam Selou Lynne & Park Smith Christopher Young
Funding GFAC Genesee County Share Art Grant Program$27,000 Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs / National Endowment for the Arts$18,938 Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Emergency Relief Fund$ 2,500 Call For Entry Fees$ 5,659 Art Sales (Net $1,383 after artist commissions)$ 4,610 Annual Appeal Campaign$ 3,195 Member Dues$ 2,520 Board Appeals (100% participation)$ 1,296 Donations$ 1,274 Fundraising$ 736
Buckham Gallery is proud to be part of Flint’s art community. We are committed to expanding opportunities for our community to engage with a diverse range of serious contemporary art and cultural ideas. We are also determined to use our expanding programs and increasing reach to attract positive attention and cultural activity to Flint. Support from our funders has enabled Buckham Gallery to grow, develop, and change. We greatly appreciate the role our donors have played. Thank you for your support.
Buckham Gallery is funded by the following organizations:
Generous support is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Our activities are sponsored in part by an award from the MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
This program is sponsored by the Greater Flint Arts Council Share Art Genesee Grant Program made possible by the Genesee County Arts Education and Cultural Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work!