One of the most exciting Small Built Works projects to date is currently building momentum. I stopped by Gallery 164 last week to speak to gallery owner, architect and UB professor Brad Wales about the project and was happy to see that many of the gateway components were on their way to completion. Inside the gallery, a series of rebar skeletal systems were bolted to the wall (see top photo – background) – the frames will eventually become the sturdy innards used to strengthen the outer concrete pillars. The artistic pillars will then be used as a gateway to a neighborhood park situated next to Urban Roots Garden Cooperative.
Currently, the preliminary cardboard pillars have been built in order to map out the design for the slatted wall. The forms show considerable amount of detail, including where the ceramic tiles (made by neighborhood kids at Nancy Gabriel Studios) will eventually be placed. The incredible gateway is just Phase 1 in the West Side park project. Future plans include mixed elevations within the actual park where visitors will be able to sit, play and wonder throughout the different pathways and gardens.
In order to see this project to fruition, Brad is challenging BRO readership, the Micropark organization, Blue Bike, and others to promote a fundraiser, which will allow for completion of the gateway. In order to cover the rebar with cement, incorporate the tiles and install the pillars, Small Built Works needs to raise $5000. “We have in-hand already secured at least $75,000 in donations towards the gateway,” Brad told me. “The donations (many in-kind) came from Great Lakes Concrete, Alp Steel, University at Buffalo Dept. of Architecture, Tony Fanti (electrician), Harvery Garrett (administrative services) and Cynnie Gaasch (artist team) and Renata Kraft (landscape architect).”
We are planning on hosting a Small Built Works fundraiser towards the end of January at Campieri’s 888 (gourmet pizza place on Main Street). We are hoping that fans of the Small Built Works project will come out and support this exciting West Side park project. I’ll be posting in the near future regarding exact times and date for the fundraiser.