BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo is laying out plans for its big expansion.
The art gallery announced its plans for the construction phase of the AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project Thursday.
The plan includes closing its Elmwood Avenue campus in late 2019 when construction is scheduled to begin, although it will have programs and events that will take place during construction.
Those programs and events include:
Albright-Knox Northland will be a 15,000 square-foot space at the Northland Workforce Training Center which will host special events, exhibitions and performances starting in early 2020.
The Public Art Initiative was established in 2014 leading to more than 30 murals throughout the city. During construction it will increase in scope.
A mobile Art Truck will also launch in early 2020 which will work to drive creativity throughout Western New York through art classes, activities and projects for all ages.
“Our Strategic Plan serves as a guide as we honor the history and legacy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and move towards our future as the new Buffalo AKG Art Museum, realizing our vision of a twenty-first century museum that connects art, ideas, and people,” said Albright-Knox Board President Alice Jacobs. “As construction on one of the largest cultural projects in Buffalo’s history is poised to begin, the expansion of the museum’s work throughout Western New York will strengthen and reinforce our connections with the diverse communities we serve while introducing new audiences to the transformative power of art. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we could not be more excited to share the initiatives that are making this vision a reality.”
Also included in the plans is new artwork inspired by Buffalo's weather and Frederick Law Olmsted's park system called Common Sky that will cover the "Indoor Town Square."
“Common sky is an expansive sculpture through which visitors experience the constant motion of the surrounding natural environment," acclaimed Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson said about the artwork. "The changing light conditions, the passing clouds, the progression of the sun over the course of the day, the flow of the seasons all resonate within this warm, welcoming space."
You can share your thoughts on the new indoor town square with museum staff Saturday April 13th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Albright Knox North building construction, also included in the plan, will continue but with a refined design focused on optimizing and consolidating gallery spaces to establish a more compact, efficient footprint.
The AK360 project was announced in June 2016, $131 million has been raised to date with $29 million left to raise.
“The news today from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is exciting and underscores this world-class institution’s commitment to Erie County,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “As the AK360 Project transforms the museum’s campus with a signature artwork and bold new public spaces, the museum is reaching even further into the community with the development of Albright-Knox Northland and the deployment of an Art Truck that will bring art and activities to enthusiasts of all ages, countywide. The hugely popular Public Art Initiative will also be expanded and we look forward to placing even more thought-provoking and conversation-stimulating artwork around Erie County.”