Albright-Knox looks to the future

Mar 24, 2015

With a main building more than a century old, a wing more than a half-century old and public schools not teaching art as much as they used to, the Albright-Knox is looking to upgrade its physical plant while helping students learn about their artistic heritages.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The art gallery has been going through months of self-analysis and a study of how much money it could raise for change is due in the fall.

At the same time, it's looking at the track records of architects it might want for whatever changes are coming to the Elmwood Avenue cultural capitol.

Director Janne Siren says it's time to make changes because the world is changing around the gallery. Siren says art doesn't exist for economic development.

"We live in a culture of 'Me-centricity' and art museums today can offer experiences that are the greater than the 'Me-experience' and in that sense while it may have positive economic impacts on a community and a society, that's not really the reason why we do what we do," notes Siren, "Those kinds of sort of effects flow from our actions."

Siren says the redevelopment is somewhat limited by its landmark buildings' location inside a public park. He says it make take seven years but the result will have more exhibit space, more and better classrooms to teach kids and, modern building control technology.