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  WKBW Local News

Local Investigation Into Ub Artist Continues

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Federal investigators continued searching an Allentown home Friday.

Buffalo police were called to 60 College Street on Tuesday after the owner, Steve Kurtz, came home to find his wife dead. It's believed she died of natural causes, but while officers were in the house they spotted some suspicious materials that were thought to be biological agents. The FBI's hazardous materials team has been at the house since Thursday collecting evidence.

Steve Kurtz is an art professor at the University of Buffalo, and the materials inside Kurtz' home are commonly used in artwork.

The materials initially looked suspicious, like biological or chemical agents.

"I can sort of see how they might wonder what is that stuff," said Edmund Cardoni of the Hallwalls Contemporary Art Gallery. "If they'd known what his art is about and what the Critical Art Ensemble's art is about I think it makes perfect sense."

Cardoni is the director of Hallwalls. He says Kurtz is a member of a group called the Critical Art Ensemble. The art Kurtz produces is not the type of art most people are used to.

"It wouldn't look in most cases like paintings on a wall or traditional sculpture but there would be maybe vatrines with objects that are crafted as art objects, but look very scientific or technological in form," said Cardoni.

Scientific materials are often used in this type of art.

"It's cutting edge art because it's really pushing the boundaries of what art does," said Cardoni.

Cardoni says artists have forever been influenced by what's happening around them. Steven Kurtz and many others have chosen to shape their art around modern day developments in science. It is weird stuff and maybe not something everyone can relate to.

People at the art gallery and in the art department at UB were contacted, but were told by the FBI not to speak on the subject.

7 News will have more late breaking details at 11 p.m. on this story.


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