The Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be closed for two years as the museum begins construction on its long-awaited AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project.
The museum announced the news in a Thursday press conference.
“Given that the museum will be an active construction site, operations at the museum will be winding down as we approach groundbreaking at the end of 2019,” Albright-Knox director Dr. Janne Siren said.
However, while the Elmwood Avenue site is under construction, the museum will expand its work into other areas of the community.
The museum will operate a location in the Northland Corridor at 612 Northland Avenue in Buffalo, near the Northland Training Center.
Albright-Knox Northland, a 15,000 sq. ft. space, will be operated by the museum starting in early 2020.
The museum will also expand the scope of its Public Art Initiative, bringing an increasing number of projects and murals by local, national, and international artists to the City of Buffalo and Erie County.
Some of the projects will be announced by late spring.
The Albright-Knox will also launch an Art Truck in spring 2020. The Art Truck is a mobile center that will “rove around the community providing educational classes and artmaking activities,” Albright-Knox Board President Alice Jacobs said.
Plans for the AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project include:
- A new building on the north side of the Albright-Knox’s campus for 30,000 sq. ft. of additional space
- The creation of an underground parking structure to transform the surface parking lot into a green landscape
- Covering the Sculpture Garden to create an indoor “Town Square” that will be open and free to the community while the museum is open.
- Creating a route through the museum from Elmwood Avenue to Delaware Park, adding a new entrance and exit for the museum.
- Creating a scenic bridge to connect the new building with the museum’s 1905 building.
The museum will hold a public forum on the indoor Town Square concept from 10 a.m. to noon for members of the community to speak with museum staff about the concept.
According to the Albright-Knox’s website, the name AK360 “reflects the fact that this will be the third time the museum has grown in the course of its 156-year history, each time at intervals of approximately 60 years (in 1905 with its first permanent home and in 1962 with its last”.