The Cass Project, an arts and cultural initiative in partnership with local artist and entrepreneur Tina Dillman, is soon to launch at 500 Seneca. The Cass Project will provide a nurturing environment for artists and curators within the historic former F.N. Burt Paper Box Company factory that has been converted into a mixed-use complex. It will feature residence, studio, exhibition and performance space for local and international artists.
The recently-completed 340,000 sq.ft., six-story historic renovation project, built and managed by Savarino Companies, was developed by Savarino and Frontier Companies. The Cass Project is named in honor of Mary Cass who ran the F.N. Burt Company in the early 20th century and made F.N. Burt the largest paper box manufacturer in the world – before she even had the right to vote. Mary Cass also played an important role in the founding of Zonta International in Buffalo. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
As The Cass Project’s first artist/curator in residence, Tina Dillman (right with developer Sam Savarino) is transforming the main lobby at 500 Seneca into a public gallery that will feature the work of local artists. The lobby gallery will be open Monday through Friday, 7:30am-7:00pm. The current schedule calls for a different artist to be featured every eight weeks.
“This is will be a great opportunity to share some of the exceptional artistic talent in our region with the 700+ employees and 140+ residents of the building, but it is also important to us that we make it readily accessible to the general public” said Ms. Dillman.
Another initiative of the Cass Project will involve the use of the building’s former boiler house as a venue for ad hoc multi-media and performance art starting this spring. Ms. Dillman will collaborate with local organizations to produce short run exhibitions and events that feature artists living outside of the area. “There are many other areas of 500 Seneca that will also provide unique opportunities for performances, art exhibitions and related parties or gatherings,” adds Ms. Dillman.
The opening reception for the first exhibition in the lobby gallery is set for Thursday, January 19 from 5-7pm, with new paintings by artist Ian de Beer. It is open to the public.
Refreshments will be offered. The lobby gallery is located on the north side of the building at the corner Seneca and Spring Streets with plenty of free parking.
500 Seneca contains 97 luxury apartments, 180,000 sq.ft. of class A office space, a multi-story indoor atrium, enclosed exterior courtyard, fully-functioning distillery, wine store and wine cellar, bicycle repair and storage facility, canine day care and training facility, therapy spa, hair salon, commercial art gallery, fully-equipped bi-level fitness and training facility and a breakfast and lunch café. Art produced by local artists can be found in many areas of the building. Soon to come is a full service bar and restaurant featuring an elevated outdoor dining area.