CRCF grant gives $20 thousand for art show

The F. Donald Kenney Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation recently made possible an annual grant of $22,000 to the Cattaraugus County Arts Council to support the Southern Tier Biennial art exhibition.

2015 Southern Tier Biennial-winning artist Wayne Claypatch discussing his work during the 2016 solo show.

Mr. Kenney, a graduate of Olean High School, Holy Cross College and Harvard University, made his career in international investment and banking, rising to serve as Goldman Sachs International chairman, but also dedicated his time and money to the arts.

The endowment at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation was established through Mr. Kenney’s estate to support the biennial art exhibition in perpetuity.

According to CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit, the biennial provides an opportunity for local, rural artists to participate in a professionally juried art competition. The winner receives an accompanying solo exhibition and funding for artistic development workshops.

Ardyth VanScoy, CCAC education coordinator, stressed the value of such an opportunity for local artists.

“The opportunity to enter into a show of this caliber with the chance of cash prizes is rarely seen in our area,” said VanScoy. “This show allows artists to showcase their works against other contemporary artists within the nine counties of southwestern New York.”

“Living in a rural area is a great asset for artistic inspiration but often is lacking in showcase opportunities, especially with a monetary award,” Ms. VanScoy added.

Furthermore, Ms. VanScoy believes local art awareness and appreciation have been boosted by the biennial exhibitions.

“I definitely think that the awareness of art in our area has grown thanks to [the biennial]. The gallery opening for the show is the best attended we hold, and viewers are always astonished at the massive amount of talent in the Southern Tier,” she said. “I also believe that this exhibition has helped to broaden the recognition of contemporary artists in rural areas.”

Ms. Buchheit echoed that sentiment.

“The Southern Tier Biennial is an exciting event every year,” Ms. Buchheit said. “I am amazed by the talent of the local artists who show their work. The biennial provides an avenue to showcase and lift up the hard work of deserving rural artists.”

Since its establishment in 2004, the fund has made possible almost $270,000 in grants to support the biennial.

“Without the grant from the F. Donald Kenney fund STB we would not be able to have the exhibition as it is known. The financial funding from the endowment is crucial to the success of STB,” said Ms. VanScoy.

Artists must apply at by June 2 for the 2017 exhibition. The entry fee is $30.

Artists may contact Ms. VanScoy for more information at or 716-372-7455.

Donations can be made to the F. Donald Kenney Endowment Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at

Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation 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, or visit online at CRCF is also on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CattFoundation).


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