Banning Books: Understanding without Reading

An Exhibition by Matthew Peter Nagowski

Opening Reception Friday, September 6th, 5-9pm

The Western New York Book Arts Center presents an exhibition by WNY artist Matthew Peter Nagowski, on view September 6 – September 28, 2019. An opening reception to celebrate the exhibition will be held Friday, September 8th from 5-9pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Banning Books: Understanding without Reading is an exhibition presenting frequently banned or challenged books through textual analysis and data abstractions of their content. Using the computer programming language Processing, Nagowski analyzes and visualizes selected content from these books in a way that allows the viewer to understand key ideas without reading the text. Narrative elements fall away to abstracted thematic forms.

For the curatorial statement of the exhibition, Nagowski invited local poet Noah Falck to pen a prose poem reflecting on the work. Falck will give a reading of his poem at 7PM on the night of the opening.

“Books bring us to universes that are not our own. Reading offers a uniquely immersive experience to expand our human understandings, facilitating a dialogue on enduring topics of the human condition. Like a journey to a foreign land, readers return from their adventure forever changed,” Nagowski says.

This exhibition is in celebration of Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019), an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned

Matthew Peter Nagowski is a Buffalo-based artist and data scientist. Employing his background in statistics, programming, and data visualization, his art mediates the boundaries between empirical understanding and aesthetic- emotional reactions. His work has been included in The Public and has been shown at such galleries as Artspace Buffalo, Big Orbit Gallery, Cornell in Buffalo, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Nagowski will also host an Artist Lecture and Processing Code Demonstration on September 28, $5 or FREE for Book Arts Members.


And in our lower-level Studio Gallery…

Summer, West Side

An Exhibition by Katy Sloan

Opening Reception Friday, September 6th, 5-9pm

Summer, West Side is a collection of prints and artist’s books based on the aesthetics and community of the West Side of Buffalo, NY. Silkscreened prints detail the architecture of the West Side, while the accompanied poems by Joey Duggan imagine the lived history within the walls of the buildings. collagraph prints of houses nestled within the lush foliage of West Side streets imagine a dreamy vision of summer days, and artist’s books take advantage of found materials that were discarded in front of the houses, corner stores, and churches within the pages. Candy wrappers, discarded cigar wrappers, fireworks packaging, and dried flowers evoke a sense of place within the summer streets of the lower West Side, while illustrations of aged buildings stand immovable on the paper.

Katy Sloan is a Printmaker and Educator based in Buffalo, NY. Sloan graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in the Summer of 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking with honors and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education with honors. She completed her senior thesis exhibition, Afterimage, in the spring of 2018 and participates in juried shows including; Art Student Exhibition Series, self: SELF, Translations: Learning Through Studio Practice, and Natural World. She was president of the Art Education Student Association (AESA) from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018. As President she chaired the Art Education Show Committee to curate Translations: Learning Through Studio Practice. Sloan recently worked with the Western New York Book Arts Center (Book Arts) to create artwork and merchandise to display in their studio gallery space and store. Sloan leads workshops through Book Arts and is currently working as a substitute teacher.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation Baird Foundation
Cameron Jane Wendt Foundation StoryGrowing