Temporary home for Albright Knox opens up on Friday

Albright Knox on Elmwood Avenue undergoing massive expansion project until 2022

Mike Baggerman
January 17, 2020 - 3:00 am
View of Heather Hart's roof at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

View of Heather Hart's roof at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Even though the Albright Knox Art Gallery will be closed for the next two to three years, art lovers can still take in some of the unique exhibits they're accustomed to at the art gallery.

Beginning Friday, the temporary location of the Albright Knox Art Gallery will be opened on Northland Avenue. It will be the first day that art fans can enjoy "Open House: Domestic Thresholds" exhibit.

"It's a real historic moment for the Albright Knox," the gallery's Public Art Curator, Aaron Ott, said. "This is a new space that we'll be operating for the next couple of years during construction of the Elmwood site. We have a lot of exciting exhibition activity that are going to happen here at 612 Northland."

View from atop roof exhibit by Heather Hart at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
View from atop roof exhibit by Heather Hart at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

The 8,000 square-foot space will feature one large exhibit area. Currently, the roof of a house is the main attraction at the new art gallery, which was created by artist Heather Hart, which acts as the "building inside a building" during the open house.

"You can climb the roof," Ott said. "For many people, it's the first time they've been on a roof top. You can go into the attic space and see the construction in a way you have never seen before...The rooftop acts as a prompt for other local artists. So, Heather Hart has invited performers of color to activate the space."

Naila Ansari, Mani Mehrvarz, Maryam Muliaee, and Curtis Lovell will all perform on the space beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Inside the attic of the home, there's also an interactive sound feature for kids.

In addition to the large exhibits, the Albright Knox Northland site will also have Edra Soto's art featuring discarded liquor bottles and a series of paintings by the late Rodney Taylor. There are also two classrooms for children and adults.

Edra Soto's liquor bottles on display at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
Edra Soto's liquor bottles on display at Albright Knox Northland. January 16, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

The current exhibit will be there until April 12 while another exhibit will likely open in May.

All of the exhibits at the Northland site "pay what you wish" cost.

"I think people have paid attention for Heather Hart for good reason because it anchors the exhibition," Ott said. "I'm particularly excited for the way in which it involves other artists and producers. Edra Soto's work has interactive components so there's workshop opportunities for people to participate in...(Rodney Taylor's) was a local artist of great talent and great renown. He passed away on December 9 of last year. This is a posthumous showing of his artwork. It was a big loss to the community."

The main art gallery on Elmwood Avenue is currently closed while it undergoes a massive $160 million expansion and renovation called AK360. The expansions include a building on the north end which will include 30,000 square feet of space for special exhibitions and art collections. It will have a wraparound promenade that serves as a connection to the nearby landscape. There will also be a new education wing

Three new buildings will be added to the Albright Knox campus on Elmwood Avenue by Buffalo State College. The three new buildings will be named after Gundlach, the Knox Family, and the late M&T Bank President Bob Wilmers.

There will also be underground parking, an Indoor Town Square, and new space for year-round engagement. It's the first expansion of the art gallery since 1962.

Albright Knox Northland will open on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Additional details about hours can be found on their website

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