This weekend is your last chance to visit the Albright-Knox Art Gallery before it closes for two years for an expansion project.
The museum is offering special extended hours for the weekend- through 10 p.m. Friday night for M&T’s First Friday Series, through 9 p.m. Saturday, and through 5 p.m. Sunday.
It’s the last chance to see the “Dark Rooms, Solid Light” exhibition by Anthony McCall, which utilizes light and smoke to immerse the viewer into the display.
Many of the museum’s walls are already empty, as the Albright-Knox has been prepping for construction over the last months.
“You will see a lot of empty walls,” Maria Scully-Morreale, director of communications for Albright-Knox, said. “It’s a massive logistical operation to empty all of the art out of the building so we can keep it safe from things like construction vibrations.”
The new Buffalo AKG Museum is expected to open in spring 2020. It will feature a new building covered in transparent glass on the Elmwood Avenue/Iroquois Drive side of campus, an education wing, and underground parking.
Scully-Morreale said that the museum’s parking lot was one area of concern during public meetings the museum hosted in 2014 and 2015.
“Something we heard a lot from the public is hat the parking lot is an eyesore in front of the beautiful original building,” Scully-Morreale said.
The new parking lot will be underground, returning about an acre of green land to the museum’s campus.
The staircase of the original 1905 building will be restored as well.
Scully-Morreale says the expansion will bring the museum’s display space to about 50,000 sq. ft., which will increase the amount of art that can be displayed from its large collection.
The museum’s totally collection is roughly 7,500 pieces, Scully-Morreale said.
“We can currently show about two percent,” she added. “We’re hoping to double that.”
Though the museum will be closed for two years, Albright-Knox will continue to bring art to the community.
The Art Truck is a mobile art site that travels around WNY, bringing hands-on art activities.
Albright-Knox Northland will open January 17 in Buffalo’s Northland Corridor, showcasing special projects and performances.
The Albright-Knox will also ramp up its public art initiatives during construction.
“People in Western New York should look for lots more public art in their communities very soon,” Scully-Morreale said.
For updates on the expansion project, check out Albright-Knox’s social media pages or website.