BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Albright-Knox Art Gallery often finds creative ways of making art accessible, and on Sunday it did just that through an intimate talk given at its Northland Campus.
Northland's current show, Open House: Domestic Thresholds by Heather Hart, Edra Soto, and Rodney Taylor, focuses on how we connect to other people, both beyond and within our homes.
For the museum's February installment of its Sunday Insights series, it brought in University at Buffalo law school graduate, army veteran, and Partnership for the Public Good civic educator Orlando Dickson.
The series is meant to take away the chairs and the podium, to connect the audience to a speaker who is a local leader and not necessarily an artist. on Sunday participants walked through the space (lightweight stools were available for those who wanted them) with Dickson, who said this model of a talk really breaks down barriers between speaker and listeners.
"Being able to walk among the people and talk and just have a conversation. and have it be more like intimate and just close," Dickson said. "I think that's really important to actually getting a message across and having people actually absorb it."
Dickson related the show both to his work, and his own life experiences, including experiencing homelessness as a child. Dickson told 2 On Your Side how he relates that experience to the visuals of "home" on show at Northland.
"The first thing I think of is being on the outside looking in, somebody who sees this place as something they don't have, and something that is so important to just being a regular human. And you know, going through high school and feeling like I'm an outcast because I can't really tell people that I'm homeless and not being able to describe it," Dickson said.
Dickson had a little bit of advice for those viewing the show, which is open until Sunday, April 12, 2020.
"If you really try to get your own interpretation out of it rather than just trying to figure out what the artist was saying, I think it does a lot to help you understand like what the artist is going through," Dickson said.
The next Sunday Insights talk will take place on March 15 at the Albright-Knox Northland Center. Admission is pay-what-you-wish, and the March talk will focus on the same show from the perspective of Beverly Crowell.
Crowell is the president of the Northland Beltline Taxpayers Association, and has been part of the community organizing aimed at discussing the redevelopment and revitalization of the Northland Corridor neighborhood.
For more information about Sunday Insights, the Northland Campus or the show, visit albrightknox.org.