Shasti O’Leary Soudant's Do Not Mistake Our Softness for Weakness

The sculptures add a pop of color to the BPAC entry plaza. 

Entitled do not Mistake Our Softness for Weakness, a colorful, revolving set of sculptures by Shasti O’Leary Soudant now adorns the entrance plaza of the Burchfield Penney Art Center.  O’Leary Soudant is known for major public art projects, including the equally colorful Gut Flora, a prominent element of the Allen/Medical Campus Station; Beat Blossom, for Artpark’s Percussion Garden; and Wish Field, installed in the lobby of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and which also inspired the current Roswell logo. The artist’s accessible, fun works belie their conceptual underpinnings, which often address sociapolitical topics around feminism, technology, and health. The curved forms of the Softness sculptures evoke simplified female shapes, but, just like the title says, these are strong, vibrant shapes that easily dominate their environment. It’s high time that BPAC added more exterior art to its property; most art museums make this a priority. BPAC has lagged behind, but is catching up with a big splash of color. Thanks are due to the Junior League of Buffalo, which donated the sculptures to Buffalo State College and BPAC.


Elizabeth Licata is Editor-in-Chief of Buffalo Spree Magazine.

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