While the jewel in Buffalo’s cultural crown – the Buffalo AKG Art Museum – is closed until the spring of 2023 for a $180 million renovation and expansion that will add 30,000 square feet for displaying special exhibitions and the museum’s world-renowned art collection, Buffalo’s deep bench of eclectic art organizations should keep any art lover happily engaged.
No art-enthusiast should miss the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC), an 84,000 square-foot museum dedicated to the art of Western New York, including nationally notable artists, and the largest public collection by famed American watercolorist Charles Burchfield. Works from the collection are in continuous rotation, so no two visits are alike. On the second Fridays of every month, the BPAC hosts happy hours, performances, concerts, screenings, and other events.
The Burchfield is just one of many exciting opportunities in a city known for its vibrant art community. Founded in 1974, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center continues to present art, media, and music that challenges and extends traditional boundaries. Hallwalls is located in a Gothic Revival church, renovated by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco and renamed Babeville.
CEPA is a 44-year-old internationally recognized arts center focusing on photography and photo-related arts. Located in the historic Market Arcade Complex, the center is known for expanding the limits of image making. CEPA also operates Big Orbit Gallery, a multidisciplinary contemporary space on Buffalo’s burgeoning West Side, which features innovative art installations. In the same building as CEPA, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center continues its 35-year legacy of innovation with films, video, and new media installations.
Thanks to its mission to provide affordable studio space, Buffalo Arts Studio is not only a first-rate gallery, but also a colony of working artists. Gallery visitors can view artists as they work. Every forth Friday, the gallery extends its hours for public artist receptions.
UB Anderson Gallery is housed in an elegantly remodeled former public school in the University Heights neighborhood. Originally established by David Anderson, son of noted New York gallerist Martha Jackson, it was later donated to the University at Buffalo (UB), along with a collection of 1,200 modernist works by noted artists. UB now operates it as a museum with changing exhibitions.
UB Art Gallery, on the university’s North Campus, mounts thought-provoking exhibitions by national artists. Further north, a scenic 30-minute drive from Buffalo takes you to the Castellani Museum on the campus of Niagara University near Niagara Falls, with its rotating collection of regional and national art, including works by Helen Frankenthaler, Georges Rouault, William DeKooning, Keith Haring, and Pablo Picasso.
There’s also an evolving selection of smaller commercial and nonprofit art spaces to satisfy every taste, including Art Dialogue Gallery (traditional and modern), K Art (Native American), Benjaman Gallery (historical to contemporary), BICA (edgy contemporary), Starlight Studio (for artists with disabilities), tiny Box Gallery (experimental), Rivalry Projects (contemporary), El Museo (eclectic), Revolution (pop surrealism), Pine Apple Company (lowbrow).