C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Art Gallery Provides Emerging Artists With Rent-Free Studio Space via Residency Program

On Friday, January 13 the C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Art Gallery will feature the second cohort of artists from their residency program at 403 Main Street, Suite 105. Since the gallery opened its doors back in April 2022, local emerging artists have been welcome to participate in a residency program, which provides creatives with complimentary studio space, programming and networking opportunities to help grow their art careers.

“The residency program is meant for emerging artists who are looking to get their foot in the arts community of Buffalo,” said Christina Buscarino, gallery manager at the C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Gallery.“ We provide free studio space for four to five months and encourage the selected artists to collaborate and network with one another. We also have the artists in residence take part in mentorship opportunities with the Buffalo Society of Artists and expose them to other local arts organizations via workshops and guest speakers.”

In addition to rent-free studio space, Hunt gallery’s resident artist program offers exhibition opportunities, an honorary membership to the Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA), sponsored opportunities in local art fairs, and a final exhibition in the main gallery space which sits within the historic Brisbane Building in downtown Buffalo.

As the second cohort of resident artists concludes their tenure, the gallery will showcase the works of Avanna Duff, Eugene Sims, Laura Valkwitch, Cassandra Ott, DJ Carr and Nicholas Wheeler in their final exhibition, “Verge.” The exhibit will also mark the arrival of seven new artists in residence.

“The collaborative space, and opportunity to connect with other artists and mentors has been invaluable,” said Cassandra Ott, resident artist at Hunt gallery. “My focus this year was to commit to my art practice full time and this residency helped provide structure and a local support system to help my success moving forward.”

With a mission to support Western New York artists and continue the resurgence and revitalization of the queen city, the gallery was founded by Peter Hunt, CEO of Hunt Real Estate. Hunt’s desire to partner with the Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA) has created an enriching environment where artists, educators, enthusiasts and collectors alike can gather and appreciate the artistry that Buffalo has to offer.

“The Hunt residencies initiative was created as an integral part of our gallery and we believe that through this energizing environment our residents’ talents and creativity can be encouraged and enhanced,” said Hunt.

The exhibition “Verge” will be on view through February 10 with an opening reception taking place on Friday, January 13 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Following the reception, the gallery is open weekly Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Applications for residencies are now open and can be found at

About C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Art Gallery

The C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Art Gallery, founded in 2022, is a new commercial gallery space located in the historic Brisbane Building* in downtown Buffalo. The gallery, founded by Peter Hunt of Hunt Real Estate, has formed a novel partnership with the Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA). Named in honor of Hunt’s parents, the gallery embodies the resurgence and revitalization of the Queen City.

The pandemic stalled access to the arts, but the Buffalo artist community never stopped creating. Hunt Gallery is opening with a mission to support and represent Western New York (WNY) artists. Artists from the BSA organization and WNY region will be given a venue to exhibit and sell their work both in person and online, as well as provided a revolving studio space for six artists, free of rent.

Hunt Residencies II – “Verge”

DJ Carr

Derrick Carr is a self-taught artist from Buffalo, NY specializing in portraiture, documentary and street photography. Derrick started shooting digital photography about eight years ago and transitioned fully into film photography in 2020. He was inspired by Gordon Parks and his way of documenting and capturing the stories of marginalized people within the inner city. Derrick’s focus often falls on those same subjects, capturing the essence of the moment and revealing the truth within. In May of 2021, He was the inaugural solo-exhibitor at the new space for The Buffalo Institute of Contemporary Art (BICA) highlighting life on the westside of Buffalo. Within that same year, Derrick worked with Time Magazine, WIVB Channel 4 News, Paramount Motion Pictures and more.

Avanna Duff

Avanna Duff is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She has learned the art of painting since the tender age of six. Avanna attended Martha Ellen Stilwell school of the arts majoring in visual arts, her pursuits further expounded in self curated community exhibitions, festivals as well as her own solo exhibition, she has showcased in New York City (Van der plas gallery) and the High Art Museum in Atlanta, Georgia as well. She is currently still furthering her education at Villa Maria college with a focus of Digital filmmaking. She plans on widening her stance in both art as well as film.

Cassandra Ott

An eternal optimist and quiet observer, artist Cassandra Ott’s lighthearted and bright artistic explorations take shape across a variety of fine art, public art and surface pattern design. She received a BFA with a concentration in Photography from the University of Cincinnati and now works as a mixed media artist and designer. Cassandra’s work provides spaces for the eyes and mind to slow down and reset – visual antidotes to offset the negativity present in our current climate. While the range of imagery is wide, themes of beauty, memory and optimism are common threads.

Eugene Sims

Eugene Sims is a painter and freelance artist based in Buffalo, New York. With a focus on portrait and figure, his artwork invites you to witness a story being told frame by frame. Eugene considers vulnerability to be essential within art, from both the artist and the viewer. Upholding that sentiment, his paintings are meant to provoke emotion, whether that be nostalgia or discomfort, with the intent to raise questions and facilitate self reflection.

Laura Valkwitch

Laura is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on pyrography and oil painting. She is a WNY native and studied fine art at Niagara County Community College. Currently, Laura teaches a drawing class through Partners In Art at the Carnegie Art Center in North Tonawanda. In 2019, her piece titled, “Lilacs,” was awarded Best in Show at Art On The Riverwalk. Most recently, Laura’s work; “Self Portrait,” was included in a group show at Meibohm Fine Arts in East Aurora. She has created numerous commissioned portraits over the years in multiple mediums such as pyrography, oil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal and graphite.

Nicholas Wheeler

Nicholas Wheeler is an artist, tradesman and designer. He works primarily through woodworking and carpentry and is often oscillating between the worlds of art, decorative art, and architecture. Nicholas received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University at Buffalo, where he studied in the material culture research group and completed his thesis on interdisciplinary communities of craftspeople. He is currently working as an independent contractor executing custom design-build projects in the City of Buffalo.

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