Canalside is home to a new public art installation. The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and the Albright-Knox (AK) have partnered to pull off a rather unusual work of art that was installed earlier today. The installation by artist Jaume Plensa is titled Silent Poets. One of the resin figures perched high atop the platform is an ode to fire, while the other is earth. Both figures illuminate, and are outfitted with color changing LED lighting.
As Plensa explains, “The two silent figures are dreaming and talking with colors. They are sharing a silent conversation in the sky—a conversation from their hearts.”
Spanish born Plensa is the same artist that created Laura – a permanent bust made of marble that graces the north terrace of the Albright-Knox.
I spoke to Aaron Ott, the AK’s public art curator, who had a hard time containing his excitement over this latest piece. He explained that these new partnerships between the gallery and public/private partnerships with organizations/entities such as the ECHDC, Erie County, the City of Buffalo, allow the artistic landscape in the city to flourish. This is not the first collaboration of this sort, and will not be the last.
“Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is honored to host Silent Poets at Canalside,” Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia said. “Art attracts attention and public art, especially from an artist as world-renowned as Jaume Plensa, will draw even more visitors to Buffalo’s waterfront, stimulating conversation and transforming the look and feel of our vibrant environment.Shark Girl and Silent Poets are just the beginning of ECHDC’s collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and we look forward to bringing additional public art to the waterfront.”
Silent Poets was recently shown in Miami, before coming to Buffalo, where it will remain for eighteen months. Plensa, a world renowned artist, has made his mark at the AK, and is now commanding attention at Canalside.
AK Director Janne Sirén said, “I commend Erie County, the City of Buffalo, and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for their wonderful support in realizing this extraordinary project in our community. We live in an amazing place, one that deserves amazing public art. The AK is proud to be your partner as we build a region where people live, work, and grow—a community that we are all proud to call home. This new landmark will indeed be a beacon in many respects.”
The work of art joins Shark Girl at the waterfront, where viewing and reflecting upon art is becoming a popular pastime for visitors.