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F. Donald Kenney Fund provides $22k for biennial art exhibition

Fri, Feb 28th 2020 11:00 am

With the support of the F. Donald Kenney Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, the Tri-County Arts Council will be holding the first solo show of the Southern Tier Biennial in its new gallery space this fall.

The F. Donald Kenney Fund, established by the late philanthropist and patron of the arts, has provided annual support to fund the annual arts exhibition since 2004, to the tune of $334,890 over the years.

This year’s grant of $22,339, will be especially meaningful to the Tri-County Arts Council, as it will provide for the first-ever solo artist exhibition to be held in the council’s gallery space.

The biennial alternates each year between a juried art competition, followed by a solo gallery showing for the competition’s winning artist. This year, the biennial will showcase the work of Angelica native Ryann Cooley.

“This is a perfect example of how the philanthropic generosity of the Kenney Fund—and others—in our area enriches the cultural climate for all of us.  This program would not be possible without that support, and we are deeply grateful for the Fund’s support over these many years,” said John Bartimole, Tri-County Arts Council Co-Executive Director.

Cooley’s work merges the mediums of photography and glass in a way that challenges the perception of traditional portraits.

For artists in rural communities, like Cooley, the biennial is a unique opportunity to share their artistic voice.

“Being an artist in a rural area is exacerbated by the potentially limited opportunities to share the artist’s work and to have it juried,” added Bartimole. “But, because of the Kenney Fund, Ryann—and others before and yet to come—have the chance to have their work celebrated by the community. It’s a deeply rewarding experience for all involved.”

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit stressed the importance of philanthropy in the arts as funding from state and federal programs waver from year to year.

“We are proud of the role that we play in facilitating philanthropy for the arts here at CRCF,” said Buchheit. “The reality is that the status of arts funding at the state and federal level is in constant flux, and funds like the Kenney fund ensure that arts and culture can continue to enrich the community.”

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).