by Sara Zak
Artists gathered last Saturday at another Preservation Ready Site (Facebook) location, St. Vincent’s Female Orphan Asylum on Buffalo’s East Side, to capture and celebrate the property as restoration work begins. The building, constructed in 1898 by Green and Wicks, has been vacant since 1982. It is being rehabbed by Ellicott Development and is being rehabbed for use by the Health Science Charter School.
The orphanage is not readily experienced as one drives down Main Street; the façade faces Ellicott Street, and for most of the artists attending, it was their first time seeing the intricate building.
After attending all three of the Painting for Preservation (P4P) events thus far, Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters’ president, Joan Shaw, noted, “The buildings are technically challenging to draw and paint and knowing that their fate is or was in peril makes them even more intriguing to study, and they simply ooze history.” Artists of all different media were on site: painters, photographers, draftsmen, and a printmaker.
Amanda Maciuba’s prints ‘explore the physical changes in demographics and architecture in her community.’ In the past, her work has dealt with observations from growing up in a suburban community. P4P gives her the opportunity to start bringing issues from living in the city into her work. It exposes her to new communities to gather stories from and more historical architecture to draw inspiration from.
The P4P “art-in” series is building a community of artists vested in our urban landscape. Linking art to endangered, historic architecture pulls together two of Buffalo’s main attractions as indicated by the new Visit Buffalo Niagara Campaign – art and architecture. Stay tuned to P4P and Preservation Ready Sites for a full summer schedule to be announced soon.
An exhibit of the art work is planned at the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in October.
Amanda Maciuba (L), Ann Stievater (R)
Above and Entry Image, Steve Siegel