Local Art Exhibitions to Explore Virtually During COVID-19

Art, City Guide, Culture & Arts, Museums, Things to Do


Written by Emily Malkowski

Published on April 15, 2020
Abright Knox art gallery

Abright Knox art gallery / Photo courtesy of Albright Knox

Have you heard? Due to Covid-19, we’ve temporarily changed our motto to “Stay In, Buffalo”.  And for the foreseeable future we will be posting content that shares how our community can continue to support local businesses while adhering to guidelines set by the CDC.⁠


Buffalo is certainly a city that prides itself on having a thriving arts scene. So it comes to the surprise of no one that as we shelter in place with the rest of the country (and the world) due to COVID-19, our city’s top cultural institutions are providing virtual content to help keep the Western New York arts community engaged and connected during this time. 

Whether you typically frequent The Albright-Knox on a monthly basis or have yet to step foot inside of an art gallery here in Buffalo, get your daily dose of art in by using our guide below on the local galleries that have listed their collections online for the public to safely enjoy while social distancing:

Did we miss one? Did we miss yours? Email us at!


The Albright-Knox’s Digital Collection 

From Picasso to Warhol and just about everything in between, there’s something for everyone within The Albright-Knox’s digital collection. Easily search the database by artist, object type, date, and more to quickly track down that favorite piece you just have to see, or simply spend a few hours getting lost in the virtual gallery while learning about all that the museum has to offer. 

Regardless of the path you choose, it’s guaranteed to get you excited for the museum’s upcoming expansion— 2022 will be here before you know it!


Herve Tullet: Shape and Color

Hervé Tullet: Shape and Color / Photo courtesy of Albright Knox

Hervé Tullet: Shape and Color

In case you missed it: The Albright-Knox opened a new project space, called the Albright-Knox Northland, earlier this year to provide extra exhibition and event opportunities while the main campus undergoes its expansion. 

Obviously, the space is now closed for the foreseeable future, but in light of COVID-19, Hervé Tullet, a French artist whose interactive exhibit titled Shape and Color was originally planned to run at the AK Northland campus this summer, has made his web series of art making videos available for free online for parents looking for ways to stimulate their children’s creativity while at home for the time being. 

Check out what he’s all about, and get excited to view the exhibit in full at the AK Northland campus during the summer of 2021.


UB Art Galleries Virtual Tour

To help bring art to viewers at home, the UB Art Galleries have coordinated a virtual tour of their latest exhibition, titled Sally Cook: 1960-Present. The exhibit features visual artwork and poetry by Sally Cook, a Buffalo-born artist and active member of the Western New York arts community since the 1950s. 

Emily Reynolds, Marketing Manager for the UB Art Galleries said it best in a recent interview with Buffalo Rising: “While we’re all in lockdown for the most part, we’re all looking for activities to keep us busy. Taking a tour of an art gallery today will not only be uplifting, it will help to heal the soul.”

In addition to the virtual tour, the works featured in the exhibition are also available in PDF form.


Photo courtesy of Buffalo Society of Artists

Buffalo Society of Artists – Spring Exhibition

One of the oldest art associations in America, the Buffalo Society of Artists cultivates and promotes the work of artists in the Western New York area through annual exhibitions, events, and programming. 

To keep the community engaged during COVID-19, the Buffalo Society of Artists is hosting its first ever virtual exhibit in lieu of their annual Spring exhibition. The online gallery, which is available now for public viewing, features 60 different works by local Western New York artists— all of which are also available for purchase. The event is free and will be on display through early May, making it the perfect way to support local artists right from the comfort of your own home.


CEPA Gallery

Located inside the historic Market Arcade building, CEPA Gallery’s four public galleries bring a vibrant visual arts experience to downtown Buffalo. With continually rotating exhibits, each gallery features exceptional photography from local, national, and international artists alike. 

While the galleries are closed due to COVID-19, CEPA Gallery is putting their own unique spin on virtual content with their new photography collection titled When You Can’t Find the Words. Featuring personal photos submitted from individuals around the world, the gallery explores just how vastly different (or similar) our experiences are as we adjust to this strange new normal together. Whether you’re eating takeout chicken wings on a rooftop in Buffalo or exploring an empty beach on the other side of the world, seeing images of how others are coping and spending their time reminds us that we’re all in this together. 

The best part? All are welcome to participate simply by submitting a photo, and you don’t have to have any artistic background or experience!


Buffalo’s Own – Virtual Arts Exhibition Series 

A local collective focused on creating new opportunities for Western New York artists, Buffalo’s Own is hosting a new virtual arts exhibition series throughout the months of April and May. The idea behind the event? Bridging the gap between the art enthusiast and the artist by bringing the gallery to your home— which is ideal right now amidst the craziness of COVID-19.

The online gallery will feature works from six different local artists, and is completely free for the public to enjoy. To register for the date of your choice, use the links listed below: 

April 4th – 18th registration link

April 18th – May 2nd registration link


WNY Book Arts

“Networks Entangled” exhibition piece / Photo courtesy pf WNY Book Arts Center

WNY Book Arts Center

Located in the heart of downtown Buffalo, WNY Book Arts Center is both a print shop and studio known for its array of artistic practices including, print making, screen printing, book binding and more! With the current social distancing practices in place, artist, Darya Warner’s exhibit called, “Networks, Entangled” is moving into a virtual space.

Warner says,“My projects explore the Biophilia Hypothesis as a crucial factor in reconnecting humans and nature. The Biophilia Hypothesis is also known as, “the love of all living things” specifically in the era of climate change. This is done via interactive installations, visual displays, photography, sound, time-based media, and biology-based research” about the project.

The  virtual gallery experience includes an interview with the artist, photographs of the exhibition as well as a downloadable video-based workshop with the artist that teaches you how to make your own mushroom prints. Warner’s pieces are also listed for sale, the proceeds from which support both the artist and the organization.


Burchfield Penney Arts Center

Last but certainly not least is Buffalo State College’s own Burchfield Penney Arts Center. A popular stop among Western New York arts enthusiasts in the Elmwood Village, the gallery has put together what is perhaps the largest local selection of content for their online “visitors” to enjoy.

From virtual tours of current exhibitions to pre-planned livestream events that feature performances and demonstrations from local artists and musicians, there’s plenty of content to keep you entertained for hours on end. Be sure to check out Burchfield Penney’s Facebook page, too, where staff members are sharing videos, artist interviews, and other interactive social media prompts to help keep the community connected during COVID-19.

Bonus: Quarantined at home with your kiddos? Check out the Burchfield Penney’s coloring book pages and other kid-friendly activities for some at-home inspiration.


Did we miss one? Did we miss yours? Email us at!


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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Emily Malkowski</a>

Written by Emily Malkowski

Based in Buffalo, Emily is a marketing professional by day, and a freelance writer by night. She is passionate about uncovering unique stories, and dreams of cross-country road trips, endless sunshine, and adopting multiple dogs.
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