from the #notwhite collective

April 5 through June 7, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 6-9 p.m.

Spoken Word Performances: Saturday, April 6  7-9 p.m.

Closing Reception: Friday, June 7  6-9 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments served

Where: ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art – 148 Elmwood Avenue – Buffalo, NY

All events are free and open to the public

April 5: In Between the Middle Exhibit Opening Reception

Friday, April 5, 2019, 6-9 p.m.

A Buffalo premiere of the #notwhite collective

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments served

April 6: Betwixt & Between: An night of poetry and spoken word

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7-9 p.m.

Pittsburgh-based #notwhite collective and Buffalo poets celebrate National Poetry Month

The Pittsburgh-based #notwhite collective, a group of 12 women artists of bi/multi-racial/cultural, immigrant- or descendant-of-immigrants backgrounds, will present an evening of poetry and spoken word with Buffalo poets on Saturday, April 6, from 7-9 p.m. The event kicks off the first weekend of National Poetry Month and is presented in conjuction with the Buffalo premiere of the collective’s art exhibit, In Between the Middle at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art (148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14201) which runs through June 7, 2019.

Performers include Buffalo artists Danielle AJ, Bianca L. McGraw and N’gana, who will be joined by #notwhite collective members: Madame Dolores, HollyHood, Fran Flaherty, Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Liana Maneese, Maritza Mosquera and Sara Tang. The event is open to the public, and ASL interpretation will be provided. Visit for more information.

artist bios

Danielle AJ is a 22 year old poet, actress and writer based in Buffalo, NY, who strongly believes in the power of expression and how it effects communities and builds bridges and breaks systems. She loves the simple pleasures like writing love poems, knitting and eating full cartons ice cream in bed.

Madame Dolores is a multi-platform, multi-disciplinary artist employing sound, vision, text, and performance as storytelling tools creating radical, controversial cultural engagements. At the root of her practice are questions about our humanity as she rewrites new mythologies. A recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times WomenFirst award in 2017, she has received awards, grants and commissions from The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, August Wilson Center, Advancing the Black Arts, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and the Trinidad Theater Festival among others.

Amber Michelle Epps is a multidisciplinary artist who creates work using various found and discarded objects from nature and other unexpected places such as thrift stores. The work that she creates is inspired by spirituality, humanism, and the occult. Amber, also known as HollyHood–the “mom of Pittsburgh hip hop”–recently released her newest album Yellow Jacket.

Fran Flaherty is a deaf artist living in Pittsburgh for over 25 years. As a first generation immigrant from the Philippines, her work is centered in issues surrounding migrant family relations and assimilation, maternal feminism, disability aesthetics, and social work. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Studio Arts Program, Fran’s work has been shown nationally and internationally. She was recently named in Art 511 Magazine’s “Top Ten NYC Artists Now.”

Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator. She works primarily in media arts, including single-channel video art, video installations, video design for theater, digital printmaking, documentary, and has ventured into performance through theater and dance. Her work has been shown in the United States and abroad, and has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments among others.

Bianca L. McGraw is a Pure Ink Poetry Slam Co-Host and Event Coordinator, Higher Education Advocate and international practicing multimedia installation/performance artist that uses art, poetry, performance and space as a vehicle for discussion about identity, diversity and perspectives while exploring personal, societal and communal experiences.

Brazilian born, Pittsburgh raised Liana Maneese is an award-winning activist, artist, visionary entrepreneur, and catalyst for new and creative ways to engage. She is an Afro-Brazilian transracial adoptee on a mission to excite folks around the power of personal responsibility, knowledge of self, and how that power can be harnessed to change the world. Adopting Identity: The Exploration of Lies, Luck, and Legitimacy, raises questions about interracial relationships and building emotional resiliency.

Maritza Mosquera is a visual artist, poet, painter, and cook whose creations often accompany dialogues with community. Her written and visual work has been presented regionally and nationally, as well as in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, and Chile. Her work has been funded by the Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative of the Pittsburgh Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for The Arts, The Buncher Foundation, The Snow Foundation and Arts Midwest.

Marielle (She/They) stage name N’gana, is a Buffalo native and mother of two, who enjoys writing and performing her work that is reflective of her experiences as a queer black femme. Since 2016 N’gana has been organizing with her political home Black Love Resist in the Rust /Just Resisting, a local people of color community organization dedicated to dismantling the white supremacist hetro- patriarchal society by empowering , educating and healing Black and Brown  people. She believes one of the greatest acts of resistance is finding healing through artistic expression. She currently co- facilitates Black Magnolias, a Black and People of Color creative writing workshop with Richie Willis and is a Contributing writer for, an online blog site

Sara Tang is an artist, illustrator, and creative facilitator who has called many places home, including Pittsburgh. Tang is the founder of the creative collaborations community Sip n’ Sketch Pittsburgh. She has worked with those who have been affected by cancer and other life experiences in creative therapy excavation workshops. She has studied the arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and with Immanuel Icons.

#notwhite collective is a group of 14 women artists elevating the stories of the others. Those who do not fit neatly in the consensus boxes, neatly in cultural categories.

#notwhite collective is a bi/multi-racial/cultural, immigrant or descendants of immigrants. They have come together, to question, to investigate, dig deep into what identity is within and without the construct and context of white – not in skin color, but as a system of oppression, a system they do not align ourselves with. In lieu of police brutality, calls for bans, for walls, they hope to provide an artistic platform for difficult discussions on the complexities of cultural identity in America to move us towards humanity.

From a video shot on February 16, 2018 at Pittsburgh, PA’s South Side Brew House Gallery:

instagram: notwhitecollective

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Global Justice Ecology Project held two events to celebrate its 15th anniversary on Sept. 14-15, 2018 at ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art in Buffalo, NY. Both events include wine and hors d’oeuvres and are free and open to the public. See details below.

148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201

ONE WORLD: Issues Across and Through Skins

Photos from Buffalo to Africa by Johanna C. Dominguez

¡Buen Vivir! was on a year long hiatus and opened its doors again in September 2018 for Johanna C. Dominguez’s “One World: Issues Across and Through Skins.” This was her first solo exhibit. She sees her camera as “Simply a vehicle” for recording the importance of protest – from Buffalo to Kenya.



Global Justice Ecology Project 15th Anniversary Party include a special private film showing of The Story of a Forest including talk by the director.

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Premier Solo Exhibit by Johanna C. Dominguez


Opened: Friday, September 14, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. with a wine and hors doeuvres Reception

Closed: Friday, November 2

Where: ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art – 148 Elmwood Avenue – Buffalo, NY

After the November 2016 election, Johanna Dominguez felt compelled to do something. Something ended up picking up her camera and documenting the different local rallies and efforts of activists across Western New York. She has combined these images with images she has taken abroad to bring together this show. The series of photographs have been taken between 2016 – 2018. There are many threats facing both people and animals today, and while these threats may seem specific, Dominguez’s work shows that the world is a lot smaller than we think.

Many may think “Water is Life” is specific to Standing Rock, but through Dominguez’s lens we see that this issue spreads far beyond the Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy corporations are capitalizing on and suppressing people across the globe. Habitats and ecosystems are also under siege both locally and abroad. It is not all doom and gloom though. There’s people and efforts out there to try and reclaim what was lost. One World: Issues Across & Through Skins shows the many positive efforts to make a space for life.

Photo: © Johanna C. Dominguez

Dominguez wishes to point out that her camera is simply a vehicle and that the true stars are those within the photographs. They are the warriors. They are the changemakers. They are the ones on the frontlines fighting every day.


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                             Marilyn Anderson’s new book (en inglés y español)

                                              Feature by Orin Langelle

Grabados del libro Guardianes de las artes Images of the book Guardians of the Arts

Amherst, NY, 26 October 2017–Artist and author Marilyn Anderson gave a presentation to the Weaver’s Guild of Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village on her new book Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts.

Anderson states in her newest book that it “aims to foster a deeper appreciation for the beauty and history of Guatemalan arts…to inspire respect, empathy and support for Guatemalan artists and artisans.”

The book is illustrated by forty-three prints of her work, that were ten years in the making. Her prints illustrate long established Guatemalan arts and crafts techniques, and were inspired by traditional wood cuts and used some of the most ancient of printmaking techniques. They are organized into sections defined by fabrication techniques and raw materials.

Her involvement with the arts and crafts of Guatemala began in the 1960s and her fascination with the process of weavers and weaving.

Carol Pirson (l) of the Weavers Guild of Buffalo, admires a weaving that Anderson is holding. photo: Langelle

Carol Pirson (l) of the Weavers Guild of Buffalo, admires a weaving that Anderson is holding. photo: Langelle

Anderson’s talk for the Weaver’s Guild of Buffalo not only weaved a story of her learning from the people who were the artisans and how they work and the different types of processes involved, but her backstory of the history in Guatemala that shed light on the repression artisans and others lived through.

As a documentary photographer I found this history, in her talk, and in the “Supplementary Essays” at the end of her book, a fascinating and necessary historical look at what is so often forgotten – or not even known by many in the U.S. The information in Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts is a behind the scenes look at culture, Mayan arts, and change and ecology – plus a section on weaving and survival during La Violencia.

So why does art need guardians?

La Violencia: The 1954 coup d’état, which overthrew the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz, brought repression to the people. [OL Note: the coup d’état was a covert operation carried out by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).] The victims included trade unionists, leaders of cooperatives and peasants.  Armed resistance to the repression began in the 1960s.

During La Violencia, Mayas suffered massacres, bombing, dislocation and rape. photo: Langelle

During La Violencia, Mayas suffered massacres, bombing, dislocation and rape.  photo: Langelle

In the 80s extensive repression intensified, aimed especially at indigenous peoples.

“Nearly 500 Guatemalan communities were destroyed. Maya women and men from areas designated by the army as ‘subversive’ did not wear their traditional clothing whose patterns and colors identified their ethnic group and community,” Anderson explained.

She continued, “Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans fled and found their way to safety in Mexico [many in Chiapas refugee camps] or other countries, leaving behind property, houses and animals. Through forests and over rivers and mountains, many Maya refugee women carried their backstrap looms. Even if they left their looms behind, they carried within themselves the knowledge to build and use new ones.”

Men and boys crocheted shoulder bags. Anderson shows an example of that work made in a Chiapas, Mexico refugee camp. photo: Langelle

Men and boys crocheted shoulder bags. Anderson shows an example of that work made in a Chiapas, Mexico refugee camp. photo: Langelle

Ecology and Arts and Crafts: Anderson describes in her book that “Guatemalan arts and crafts are connected to their environment…An holistic relationship existed between the earth, which gave the raw materials for the objects that artisans made, and the users of these objects.”

Sustaining Culture:

                                                   I will never stop wearing my traditional clothing until the day I die. – Desidria Camposeco of Jacaltenango, 1996

Anderson says Desidria’s wearing traditional clothing is a form of resistance. A commitment to one’s culture plays a part of resisting economic and political forces and confronts prejudice and consumerism.

“Mayas keep their culture alive in many ways: millions speak, write and appreciate the 22 Mayan languages; they understand the universe; the world and humans’ place in it through their cosmovisión; the ancient K’iche’ creation narrative, The Popol Vub, has continued importance to modern day Mayas; story-telling music, dance and plays are other examples of traditional culture that play an important part in the lives of many Mayas.” – Marilyn Anderson

So why does art need guardians?

Because without art, cultural identity can be lost or worse, destroyed, threatening the very fabric of peoples’ true history.


To order Marilyn Anderson’s new book Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts, Relief Prints, Coloring Books and Note Card sets, please go to or email

From the Proto Arte Maya website:

The latest addition to the Pro Arte Maya Project is the book: Guardianes de las artes: grabados de artistas y artesanos de Guatemala/ Guardians of the Arts: Prints of Guatemalan Artists and Artisans.

Completed in 2016, work on this book has occupied Marilyn over the past ten years. Copies are available in the United States through this website as well as several bookstores and online stores. The publisher, Editorial Ediciones Del Pensativo, is located in Antigua, Guatemala and makes the book available in bookstores in Guatemala.



                                New York bookstores carrying the book include:

                     Greenwood Books, 123 East Avenue, in downtown Rochester
Before your Quiet Eyes, 439 Monroe Avenue, Rochester
Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main Street and 951 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo (near Bidwell)

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Thursday, September 21st, is the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. ¡Buen Vivir! and Global Justice Ecology Project have been fighting the spread of monoculture plantations for decades. And more recently, we have been advocates for banning the addition of genetic engineered trees, which would further exasperate all of the social and environmental impacts that monocultures cause.

This includes drought, pollution of water sources, loss of habitat and biodiversity, human rights violations towards members of local communities and/or forest dwelling peoples, and devating fires (as we covered in Chile and Portugal earlier this year).

Stay tuned to Global Justice Ecology Project and The Campaign to Stop GE Trees tomorrow, the 21st. We will be posting throughout the day, a series of mixed media and articles with information about the dangerous implications of the spread of monoculture tree plantations and GE trees, and ways to fight back.

In the meantime, check out these two photo essays by Anne Peterman, Founder and Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and Campaign Coordinator for the Campaign to Stop GE Trees, and photographer Orin Langelle, Founder of Global Justice Ecology Project and Director of Langelle Photography.



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“Indigenous women from the Shahsevan tribal Confederacy camped in their tents (Alachiq) in their summering grounds. They display a two-humped Bactrian camel. The Shahsevan have an age-old relationship with these camels, which have served as transport on their migratory routes for centuries. The Shahshevan believe that the camels bring blessings to their lands, which are an important habitat of the Bactrian camel.”

A new photoessay put together by international organizations Cenesta and Global Forest Colition showcases Indigenous Peoples and local communities in Iran acting as stewards of natural resources and nature through participartory and counter mapping procedures of their own lands, made possible in part by Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs).

To view the entire photo collection and to learn more about this empowering and visually beautiful process documented by Cenestna, click here.

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The July 28th closing reception for Hope And Fear: Using Art Therapy to Cope in Times of Transition, the collaborative exhibit between ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery and Art Therapy Buffalo, was once again packed with enthusiastic participants.  Inside, people contributed their hopes and fears to the interactive sculpture, while outside, participants were guided through an exercise about tolerance.  People of all ages enjoyed the event.  Photos from the evening are below.

If you never got a chance to see the exhibit while it was still up at ¡Buen Vivir!, or you just want to see it again, the entire exhibit is now available online.




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(To read more on the exhibit, please go to the Current page)

June was not only the opening of our new collaborative art exhibition with Art Therapy Buffalo, “Hope and Fear: Using Art Therapy to Cope in Times of Transition,” but it also brought us the annual Pride and Arts festivals. This has been a very unique and hands on exhibition, offering visitors and passersby alike at all of these events the opportunity to view and participate in the art. If you missed any of our opening events, fear not! Join us at our closing reception on Friday, July 28th from 6-9pm, or stop by for “Ask an Art Therapist” during open hours at the gallery on Saturdays from 10am-2pm in July! As always, contact us anytime to to schedule another viewing opportunity.

To see the live performance art piece by one of the exhibiting art therapists at the opening reception, click here.

There will be an encore interactive performance at the closing reception on Friday July 28th, around 7:30pm – come join us!

In the meantime, enjoy some of these photos captured during this month’s opening reception and Pride weekend events:


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