In 1905, the Greek revival structure across from Buffalo State College became the permanent home for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Its parent organization – The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy – is among the country's oldest public arts institutions. But don’t let the seemingly traditional vibe make you believe that Albright-Knox Art Gallery is an old-style museum, on the contrary, it is one of the most vibrant, energetic and lively places! Due to its tradition of collecting and exhibiting the art of its time, the museum houses an extraordinary art collection, including works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Willem de Kooning, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, and cutting-edge contemporary artists.

Every summer, Albright-Knox Art Gallery visitors bring the masterpieces of the collection to life. For the past 20 years, Art Alive contest has been gathering students, teachers, artists, families and friends to create living representations of famous works of art for great prizes. It is a day of art, music and fun! Anyone can participate, so maybe Museeum team will go for it in 2017! While we have to decide on the Artwork to bring Alive, we talked to Dr. Jennifer Foley, Albright-Knox’s Director of Education and Community Engagement and Lindsay Kranz, Albright-Knox Education Department Associate.

Albright-Knox is one of the oldest public arts institutions in the United States and it holds one of the most impressive and fun art contests! What other events do you hold?

Dr. Jennifer Foley, Director of Education and Community Engagement: We have a full day of programming, from art classes for kids and adults to musical performances, tours, and talks on the first Friday of every month as part of our M&T First Fridays (the gallery is free every first Friday of the month – Museeum). We also have a wide variety of programming year round for families, adults, and children, from drawing classes to artist talks, various tours, and musical performances of many different genres. All can be found on the Albright-Knox website at albrightknox.org.

What would be the most memorable Art Alive re-enactments (can we call them this way?) of the past 20 years?

Lindsay Kranz, Education Department Associate: We like to refer to them as tableaus. It’s hard to choose only one, but a very memorable one was done in 2012. Young students from BPS 64: Frederick Law Olmsted, recreated Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1268. There were so many students scribbling away, taking turns, and they appeared to be thoroughly enjoying recreating the work of art. It was constantly changing and evolving throughout the event. I loved that seeing it in person made such an impact that they wanted to recreate it themselves.

Who are the participants mainly? Did the group of participants change over the years?

When it began, more adults and families participated, but now most of the participants are from schools. Many schools and art clubs come back to participate, but with different students each year.

What is the team that works on Art Alive?

Jennifer Foley: It’s an event in which many staff members are involved. The core team includes the Education and Community Engagement, Communications, and Advancement departments.

How many prizes were given out and who were the winners in each category?

Best Tableau from AK Collection or AK Public Art:

K-8: Queen of Heaven School: Franz Marc’s The Wolves (The Balkan War), 1913

9-12: Gowanda High School: Casey Riordan Millard’s Shark Girl, 2013

Handyman Award for Best Craftsmanship:

K-8: Queen of Heaven School: Franz Marc’s The Wolves (The Balkan War), 1913

9-12: Nichols School Free Draw Club: George Tooker’s The Subway, 1950

Adult/ Family/ Group: Madonna Coleman-Petrik: Fra Angelico’s Madonna and Child of the Grapes, 1425

Off-the-Beaten Path Award for Most Unusual Entry:

K-8: Holland Elementary School: John Steuart Curry’s Tornado Over Kansas, 1929

9-12: Gowanda High School: Banksy’s Gas Mask Boy

Adult/ Family/ Group: Aerin and Nicole Wagner: Amanda Browder’s Rapunzel, 2006

People’s Choice Awards: K-8: Holland Elementary School: John Steuart Curry’s Tornado Over Kansas, 1929

9-12: Gowanda High School: Sandy Skoglund’s Radioactive Cats, 1980

Adult/ Family/ Group: Aerin and Nicole Wagner: Amanda Browder’s Rapunzel, 2006

This year the judges were: Claudia Amigone, Joel P. Feroleto, Congressman Brian Higgins, Michaela Schulze Nicole Swift.


Albright-Knox Art Gallery struck us as an exciting and fun place to be, it is a must-see if you are an art-lover and you are in the city. If you travel to the area for Niagara Falls visit, don’t fall for staying in tourist-trip cities, stay in Buffalo and Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of the prime reasons to do so!
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