First Friday Art Exhibit a First Step for the Ambitious Haute La Vie

Art, Culture & Arts


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on April 29, 2015

First Fridays in Allentown always bring out unique works of art and performances, but for the creative agency Haute La Vie – this Friday’s exhibition at Glow Gallery on Allen Street kicks off a series of events designed to lift up and tie together the disparate threads of Buffalo’s artistic communities.

The agency is even looking to trace those threads to artists raised in Western New York, but who have also put down roots elsewhere.

Haute La Vie’s upcoming exhibition, aMuse: NY State of Mind, showcases work from Buffalo artists currently living in New York City. Despite being a six-hour drive away, these artists still feel a connection to the Nickel City.

Related > Five Reasons to go to First Fridays

Originally from Tonawanda, Matthew J. Myers started his education at Niagara County Community College before moving on to SUNY New Paltz. Although Myers has done numerous impressionist portraits in the past, his works at the aMuse exhibit are based in sketches made in local bars. According to Myers, our daily observations are filled with narratives and his work in the studio is dedicated to bringing those stories to life.

Photographer Andre Howard is the other Buffalo artist in the upcoming show and his lens is also trained on the dive bars of downstate. Howard takes a documentarian’s approach to photography and his work for the upcoming show will feature the themes of rebirth and reclamation as they relate to social scenes, two themes we can relate to at Step Out Buffalo.

aMUSE3The aMUSE exhibit will also feature visual/performance Shawn Neon, who hails from the Big Apple, as well as music from the local jazz/funk/R&B trio JFT.

Haute La Vie is curating the event and the agency’s CEO Shawn Patterson recently told me over the phone that local fans of art and music can expect big things to come from his company. In addition to being a design agency, one of Haute La Vie’s core missions is also to promote artists of every stripe in Buffalo, from fashion designers, to painters, to musicians.

“This business model is very new,” Patterson said. “I know that Pharrell has a creative agency he’s doing some things with in ‘i am Other.’”

“DONDA is Kanye West’s company, so he’s doing a creative agency at this point as well,” he added. “It’s like this one company with different divisions within it that puts their artists in a good position.”

Patterson said Haute La Vie is currently working on what can only be described as a highly-ambitious venture: a SXSW-style music festival for Buffalo.

“I feel that we have a lot of festivals in the surrounding areas, but nothing that speaks directly to what’s happening in Buffalo,” he said, before conceding that Buffablog’s Herd Fest is “about it” for local music festivals.

Patterson said the vision for Haute La Vie’s to-be-announced festival will reflect the agency’s mission to bring art to a mainstream audience and capitalize on all the untapped local talent waiting to be unleashed into the larger consciousness of Western New York.

See the agency’s first offering this Friday at Glow Gallery and get a taste of what Haute La Vie has in store.

aMuse: NY State of Mind

Glow Gallery, 224 Allen Street, Buffalo 14201

First Friday, May 1, 2015, 6–10pm

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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