Metro magic: Hop on the train with Sugar City
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • October 09, 2013 @ 8:27am
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is one of Buffalo’s favorite whipping boys, it seems, largely because of Buffalo’s Metro Rail.
Some complaints appear legitimate—like employees being tardy for work because construction throws off train schedules—while others, like pulling away from a possible Metro extension to connect the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to the mainline, look foreboding.
Despite the news-related warts of Buffalo’s subway system, artist collective Sugar City will lead a music and art-centered tour of the Metro Rail—with the full support of NFTA—beginning at University Station at 7 p.m. and returning to the same place after traveling full circuit at 10:30.
Maybe it’s time to give the transportation authority a brief reprieve for “Ride the Metro Round and Round.”
There’s a free, above-ground portion of the tour from Fountain Plaza to Erie Canal Harbor Station, but for the rest of the entertainment, a metro pass, a student ID to a college that has free metro rides, $2 for one performance even if just stopping by, or $4 for unlimited performances. You can purchase metro passes at any of the subway stations.
At each stop along the 3.5-hour journey, attendees will be treated to either a pop-up art installation or musical entertainment, and the Facebook event page is purposely vague in order to pique your curiosity.
While the event is presented by Sugar City, the NFTA and UB’s Art Galleries, some of the most compelling participants include My Future Ex—UB’s contemporary approaches to installation and performance art curated by Sandra Q. Firmin and Tra Bouscaren, and the Momentary Museum—a rather novel pop-up installation that occupies unexpected and unused public spaces.
UBArtGalleries.org writes more poignantly and succinctly about the exhibition’s mission than I ever could:
From September through November, events will pop up and open for only a few days (or hours) at a time, ranging from two 3,000 square feet installation projects, outdoor happenings, artist lectures, activist dinners, and site-specific public sculpture projects. My Future Ex expands out from the UB Art Gallery’s traditional home base into Buffalo’s distinctive neighborhoods. It floats along the Buffalo River, accesses vacant warehouses downtown and a West Side Laundromat doubling as a cultural center, rides mass transit, and becomes rooted to urban farms and wildlife habitats.
If you’re one who’s easily confused by the order of the metro stops—I can never remember the correct order of Lafayette, Fountain and Church, for example—there’s a handy (if impeccably ugly) map to your right.
For the Momentary Museum, a photo-art collage will be the group’s displayed project—one that’s been in the works for over a month—and has already boasted a piece in the Humboldt Train Station. You can still submit artwork for Saturday until midnight tonight.
My Future Ex and the Momentary Museum lend just a taste of the entertainment and performances scheduled for Saturday night, so cruise through the city on the Metro Rail, meeting fellow art lovers and reveling in the scene’s avant-garde productions.
For more on Sugar City, here’s a quick bio from the Facebook event page:
Sugar City exists to organize alternative community, arts and cultural events in the Buffalo area. Their goal is to share and create art and community based on participatory culture and a do-it-together attitude. Events and initiatives include, but are not limited to: music, films, readings, meeting space, art gallery, and workshops. Sugar City is about sharing creativity and energy with everyone regardless of age.