Buffalo Arts & Technology Center (BATC) is partnering with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) arts programs to bring a splash of beauty and life to the center's future home at 1219 Main St., in downtown Buffalo. The collaboration features works by 25 Buffalo Public Schools students, from elementary grades through high school in a wide variety of mediums.
The art display marks a milestone for BATC, which will move into the construction stage early next year, to build-out space for its innovative two-pronged program of after-school art classes for at-risk high school students as well as health industry vocational trainings for unemployed and under-employed adults.
"There is no better first exhibit for the Buffalo Arts and Technology Center
, than one that shares the works of some of our city's young talented artists from the Buffalo Public Schools," said BATC Executive Director Amber Dixon.
"In planning this exhibit, Michele Agosto from BPS and I wanted to bring back the holiday tradition of beautiful windows on Main street. In the time this exhibit has been up it has been such a pleasure to see the many Buffalonians who walk down this block on Main Street and peer in these windows," Ms. Dixon added.
"The Buffalo Public School Art Education Department is very excited to partner with the Buffalo Arts & Technology Center in showcasing the spectacular work of our young student artists. My hope is that the Window Wonderland On Main Street exhibition is just the beginning of a potentially strong, collaborative relationship that will, in every conceivable way, benefit our young children and our community as a whole," said Michele Agosto, BPS, Supervisor of Art Education.
The budding artists, their teachers, families and friends were treated to a gallery-style reception on Monday evening to celebrate their works of art and kick-off BATC's residency in the 15,000-square-foot commercial space, which is part of the ArtSpace Buffalo Lofts complex.
The student art show, which runs through January 4, is running concurrently with a show of works by the artists/residents in the adjoining ArtSpace gallery.
"The Buffalo Arts and Technology Center is so lucky to share our new home with the many talented artists residing here at ArtSpace. We look forward to being a great neighbor to them and to help share their talent with Buffalo's young people," Ms. Dixon said.
In January 2012, a group of local foundations, led by The John R. Oishei Foundation, First Niagara Financial Group, Empire State Development Corporation and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo joined forces to establish the BATC. To date, they have committed more than $4 million in public-private seed money earmarked for design and build-out of vacant commercial space to accommodate the youth and adult programs.
In October, Ms. Dixon, a veteran educator, was named executive director of the unusual arts and vocational training program, which is modeled after entrepreneur Bill Strickland's highly successful Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, a two-pronged template for social change, which dates back four decades.
BATC is slated to open its doors to its first classes of youth artists and adult students in late 2013.
Entry Image: Fun in the Snow" by Hailey Klimek, Hillery Park