With the facade work complete and the interior set up with a temporary Frank Worth installation, Art and Artifact Gallery (1716 Main Street) wowed a Leadership Buffalo group with a teaser showing last night. The glowing gallery windows were a sight for sore eyes for anyone who has seen many of the lights go dim on the street in years past. Just steps away from Canisius College, Art and Artifact has become a beacon of hope in a neighborhood that has suffered from instances of demolition by neglect and urban abandonment. We lost yet another brick structure just down the way from the gallery this past summer, next to Auto Zone (not far from Ferry). With investments of this scale and magnitude on the street, the hope is to attract potential investors who see Main Street as a street of opportunity.
It didn’t take any convincing from the Leadership Buffalo group, many who remained long after the event was over. Gallery host Greg Gray took the time to set up a photo montage featuring ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of the building. That display commanded as much attention as the featured Frank Worth collection – it just goes to show you just how intrigued people are when it comes to tangible examples of the city’s resurgence. Next steps for the gallery include building a custom bar and hanging the permanent installation. “We’re targeting November 5th for our opening,” said Greg. “Right now we’re just waiting for occupancy permit from the City. As soon as we get the permit, we need two weeks to print, hire a manager and curate the show.”