- Buffalo’s highly anticipated Burchfield-Penney Art Center, shown here in an artist’s rendering of the main gallery, will reopen this fall. Photography By WWW.DBOXSTUDIOS.COM
As if predicting the city’s No. 1 ranking, mayor Byron W. Brown declared 2008 the “Year of the Arts” in Buffalo during his State of the City Address in February. To back up his claim, he dedicated $1 million to build a new Urban Arts Center.
The city received enthusiastic support from AmericanStyle readers across the country, who repeatedly called it “a hidden jewel” and “a well-kept secret.” That’s probably because Buffalo’s art scene is as varied as the people who live in it. “You name it, we have it,” wrote Buffalo resident Amy Proctor.
One of the largest, most anticipated projects in the area is the opening this fall of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center at its new, expanded location on the Buffalo State College campus. Its 84,000 square feet will include exhibition space, educational facilities and an arts conservation laboratory, all with a focus on western New York artists.
The other major player in town, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, announced plans for expansion earlier this year. Although planning only recently began, the architecture committee intends to expand the space while making a lasting creative impact. In the meantime, the gallery’s best-kept secret is its free Friday “Gusto at the Gallery” events, hosting everything from poetry slams to lectures and performances.
Buffalo is also dedicated to working artists. Local nonprofit Belmont Housing Resources worked with Minneapolis- based Artspace Projects to complete the $16.2 million Artspace Buffalo Lofts, 60 affordable housing units with shared studio space in a historic midtown building.