As the Albright-Knox closes its for a major building and renovation project, the museum has opened a temporary location to continue showing exhibitions and its educational programs.
Located on the East Side across from the new Northland Workforce Training Center, the temporary Albright-Knox location is not a museum. Don’t expect to see the iconic Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock paintings we’ve come to see as old friends at the temporary facility.
Jennifer Foley, the museum’s director of education and community engagement, recently told us how a tour of the space convinced the museum directors to move to the Northland building, which used to house an industrial powder-coating operation.
“We went in to take a look, and saw it had this great central area with these high ceilings, which looked like it had a lot of potential for exhibitions,” Foley told us in a recent phone interview. “Then, there’s this space to one side with a lot of windows that looked like it would be great for classrooms. We thought that it’s got the two key things that we really would like to see in a temporary space.
“There’s so much going on in the Northland area. We’re just super excited about everything happening there, to be working in a new space and to be working with new neighbors.”
Rather than seeing the Northland space as part of a holding pattern, the museum’s directors are looking to take advantage of the large exhibition space and tall ceilings. For instance, the current “Open House: Domestic Thresholds” exhibit features large full-scale house roofs.
“We wouldn’t have had space to do that in, at the Elmwood facility,” Foley said. “There wouldn’t have been a space that had just the square footage to be able to create that. It’s a site-specific piece that was literally built into the space.
“Because it’s such a different space, we’re doing different kinds of exhibitions,” she added. “The Northland space is not a museum, but it is an amazing space to do some experimenting.”
In addition to making use of a large new exhibition area, the Northland space will also enable the Albright Knox to continue its educational programs. Foley said monthly Family Fundays, child art classes, adult studio classes, gallery talks, summer camps and other programming will continue to be held while the Elmwood campus goes through construction.
The current space and its programming are a work in progress, with museum personnel evaluating responses, making adjustments and learning as they go.
Foley said future plans for the space are “going to evolve over the next few years. We have a 3-year lease. We know that’s part of it but we don’t really know what’s going to happen beyond that.”
“Everything that you do is going to influence what you do in the future,” she continued. “I’m sure this facility will have an impact on how we operate after the building project is completed. What we’re really trying to focus on is being in Northland now and how we operate there now.
“We are looking forward to learning more; about the neighborhood, how the space works and making new friends and connections.”
612 Northland Ave, Buffalo, NY 14211
Hours: Friday 12 p.m.– 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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