BUFFALO, NY -- In its push to spread awareness of public art, the Albright-Knox has unveiled an exhibit that spans the east and west side of the Queen City.
"Spectral Locus" is the concept of Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Browder and has been in the works since April. Browder has been collecting donated fabric and scores of volunteers have been meeting to sew the thousands of feet that were hung on three buildings. '
“Really it’s about getting to know a city, which is Buffalo," Browder said, “I like to call this piece a large fabric installation.”
The swaths of fabric were hung on the buildings over the course of two weeks and designed to attract eyes on spaces that have been overlooked by every day residents.
"Spectral Locus," unlike art you’d find in a gallery that has a deep alternative meaning hidden by the artist, is a public art exhibit meant to invoke an emotional connection for those viewing it.
“I think it creates a lot of memories for people who came and participated or even saw it. It gave them a sense of connection with the contemporary art piece beyond just saying oh that’s nice.”
This project, funded partly by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, is part of the Albright-Knox Public Art initiative, the same program in the past has brought us Shark Girl, Silent Poets and more.
“It’s the season for public art and everyone knows how great the summer is in Buffalo," said Albright-Knox Public Art Curator Aaron Ott, "so we’ve been doing quite a few projects and this is going to be a very visible example of that.”
The public art initiative, supported by the City of Buffalo and Erie County, along with the Albright-Knox, has had more than a dozen projects in Western New York in its short tenure.
“It’s a little surprising to people that we’ve only been around for two years," said Ott, "I think people have embraced us in a way that is humbling to us and exciting for the initiative and our partners because it allows us to stay busy and to bring more artwork.”
The most powerful art is often the kind where the audience can simply stare at it in awe. And with all the talk about Buffalo coming back, it’s easy to overlook the buildings we’ve forgotten.
Such as the Richmond Ferry Church, which recently was sold and is being redeveloped as a performance art center. Or the property on Broadway. Long neglected, hopeful for an anchor tenant to help rejuvenate the east side where ribbon cuttings are few and far between.
“I really hope it gives them a sense of appreciation of the city and the individuals that live in Buffalo and how wonderful everyone is," said Browder. "It’s easy to live next to someone and feel cranky about them, but I hope this will bring people together and make them feel warmed and loved.”
The participating buildings can be found at 950 Broadway Ave, The church at the circle of Richmond Ave and West Ferry and Clifton Hall on Elmwood Ave by the Albright-Knox. The exhibit will be on display until mid-September.