Artifacts: Burchfield Themed Photographs by Jackie Albarella

Buffalo History Museum

September 7, 2022 to January 22, 2023

Perhaps it was the pandemic that caused me to go through boxes and envelopes of miscellaneous ephemera and other found materials I had accumulated over the years. Having the time to “clean out” also gave me a chance to revisit decades of these loosely described “collections.” A note here, a dried flower there, fragments of a life puzzle – placed together, turned right or slanted left, these pieces began to form pictures. It was a time consuming, time wasting and wholeheartedly wonderful exercise. That was the inspiration that led to me giving these materials new meaning by using them as the source material for a new series of photographic images.

The unifying characteristic of these collages is the fact that they each incorporate paper items or other objects that are original “fragments” of the life of renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield, an artist I lived next door to as a child. After he passed, my mother purchased the property, and it became our home through the next 5 decades. I have kept these along with many other pieces and parts of my own journey through life and discovering my art and I will readily admit that I am sentimentalist.

This exhibition of new works consists of a series of  8 – 16” x20” digital photographs of the assembled collages constructed on a black background. Each one tells a story of a different era, such a time when the written letter was cherished. A willow branch may represent a longing for spring and a small group of drawings and notes might evoke the minutia of what makes our lives matter. Collectively, the works in this series represent a spirit of nostalgia and remembrance, and the value and meaning that can be assigned to the ephemera we preserve for sentimental reasons.