Welcome to Painting for Preservation!

Welcome to Painting for Preservation! This initiative, founded by artist Sara M. Zak, is aimed at drawing attention to distressed, at-risk, and under-utilized historic locations through on site art making.

Mission: To bring together artists of all media in support of historic distressed properties and communities. To create artwork on-site related to the location as a means of raising positive awareness of the space.


My hope is that we can continue this effort in Buffalo and expand the concept to other architecturally rich cities. Please e-mail Sara M. Zak if you are interested in starting a Painting for Preservation initiative in your city at info@paintingforpreservation.org

Our goals:

1. Raise awareness of at-risk, distressed and under-utilized locations and their neighborhoods


2. Create a record of historically rich locations through art

3. Create a community of artists invested in the urban landscape

4. Bring exposure and provide assistance to artists interested in documenting at-risk historic neighborhoods while also collaborating with members of those same neighborhoods.

5. Involve communities in sharing their stories of local historic architectural and their neighborhoods.




Saturday, July 30, 2011

Painting for Preservation: A Retrospective -
Six Months/Six Art-Ins

The Big Bang of Painting for Preservation was (1) the demolition hearings for the Blacksmith Shop on South Park near DL&W Terminal around the back of HSBC Arena in the transitional area between the Cobblestone District and Canalside, (2) the existing talented group of Niagara Frontier Plein-Air Painters, and (3) Sara M. Zak, a fine-artist, who brought the two of them together to focus on the Blacksmith Shop. The first Art-In, a word-play on the Sit-In protest tactic, took place on March 29, 2011 with over 10 painters.


In less-than-six months, Painting for Preservation in collaboration with Preservation-Ready Sites, a list of must-save historic buildings, has hosted five more Art-Ins through out the City. There are three more planned between August and September with a crescendo in October for the National Preservation Conference.

Because sometimes even I forget, our first six Art-Ins are listed below with links to finished work. To understand what we do check out the pictures of us working. Painters, photographers, sketchers, fabric artists, collage artists and anyone observing gather at a historic building with art supplies, set up on the grass, sidewalks, rocking chairs and get started making portraits of gorgeous yet neglected/neglected yet gorgeous buildings. Everyone is welcome to these events and we encourage participation from community members.

1. Blacksmith Shop, South Park Ave

Donna Hale working at the Blacksmith's Shop

"Paint-In" Event to Draw Attention to At-Risk Blacksmith Shop, Buffalo Rising
Artists Take to Street Today at Blacksmith Shop, Buffalo Rising

Different Vision Offered for Blacksmith Shops: Reuse, Buffalo Rising

Buffalo's Vanishing Watercolors, Buffalo Rising
"This morning upwards of ten artists amassed at the corner of South Park and Illinois to 'shed some light' on a building that currently suffers from demolition by neglect. What is interesting about this group of artists is that they are a non-political group that thrives on painting romantic images of the city - you won't find them painting at a Blight-Aid parking lot, but you will find them painting at Elevator Alley, the Erie Basin Marina and The Cobblestone District. What would be really depressing is if these paintings being created today become some of the last images to ever be captured of this historic Cobblestone structure. "
First Painting for Preservation Event in Buffalo's Cobblestone District, Painting for Preservation

Demo of Blacksmith Shop Blocked, for Now , Buffalo Rising


2. Harris Hardware, East Ferry St
Listed as one of the Preservation League of New York State's "Seven to Save" in recent years, Harris Hardware, is perhaps the oldest operating African-American owned business on the East Side. The ca. 1890 three-story masonry commercial building features two-story bay windows, ashlar window hoods, and brick work at the parapet. Painting took place from across the street in a parking lot. While a nice place to paint, it points to the reality of the need to support Harris Hardware, if not only to prevent demolition, but to sustain a vital business.

Artists Head East for April 30th Paint-In, Buffalo Rising
Where the heART Is – Preservation Paint-Ins Sets Sights on Harris Hardware, The Good Neighborhood
"...a collective of artists and preservationists donning paint brushes and a fresh perspective are encouraging us to take another look at these structures. They see beauty in the fa├žade; they see life in the lines of these grand old buildings – and they’re celebrating them the way they know how – painting, drawing, photography. Every month, the group of artists stages a Preservation Paint-In to shine some light on a beautiful old building in need of some tender loving care."
3. St. Vincent's Orphanage, Ellicott St
P4P artists took to St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum, quicker than the impending name would suggest, to render the ca. 1899 five-story masonry structure notable architecturally for its diversity of window types and culturally for its role in the medical and care-taking movements of our region. Listed as a Preservation-Ready Site, Buffalo Rising and Buffalo Spree have covered the restoration story with a happy ending as the Health Sciences Charter School is set to move into two-floors of the building. During the May Art-In, artists created to the sounds of machinery working through the weekend to make this project happen in time for the up-coming school year.

Artists Tackle St. Vincent's, Buffalo Rising

Pictures and Participants from St. Vincent's, Painting for Preservation
Preservation Ready: St. Vincent's - take this one off the list., Buffalo Rising



4. Vaux Barn, Mill St
This small frame barn with careful detailing, known for its yellow paint job, is believed to be an original Calvert Vaux-designed fixture of what was Frederick Law Olmsted's The Parade, now known as Martin Luther King Jr. Park near Humboldt Parkway, also part of the parks and parkways system. Even with rain, artists participated - sketching from inside station wagons. The Vaux Barn is privately owned and in need of weatherization at the least.


5. Lyth Cottage, Harwood Pl
Perhaps because of the pure cuteness of this ca. 1886 masonry cottage, over 20 artists and community members came to Lyth Cottage on Harwood Place in the Hamlin Park Local Historic District. Lyth Cottage was the residence of servants of the industrious Lyth Family that produced terra-cotta sewer piping and decorative elements; many of which are on display at the cottage. As part of the City of Buffalo Urban Homestead Program, it was recently purchased by a young East Aurora-resident committed to restoration in the next 18-month. This was a celebratory Art-In!
Artists Invited to Paint the Historic Lyth Cottage, Artvoice
Artists to Paint at Landmark with Bright Future, Buffalo Rising

Love for a landmark [Photo], The Buffalo News
Art of preservation [Photo], The Buffalo NewsLyth Cottage Follow Up, Painting for Preservation



6. Central Terminal, Paderewski Dr
Central Terminal is the preservation poster-child for community-driven reinvestment and reinvention of an architecturally significant building that have lost their original use, in this case as a major transportation hub. Driven by volunteers, the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation, recently released their master plan for a mixed-use concourse, apartments, and offices. In the mean time, Buffalo knows Central Terminal to host massive events!

Knowing this, Buffalo Unscripted, a documentary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation kicked-off a week of filming at I Heart Central Termina
l to show us in our natural habitat answering: "Is Buffalo misunderstood?" and "What should Buffalo save?" Painting for Preservation artists came out full-force with the addition of a couple new folks, a collage artist and a textile artist - blowing our minds with the diversity of media that can illustrate the iconic Central Terminal. Come as you are.

See You There! July 13, 2011, Artvoice
Art-In at “I Heart Central Terminal", BUFFALO.com
Painting for Preservation: Lyth Cottage to Central Terminal, wgrz.com
Lyth Cottage to "I Heart Central Terminal", Buffalo Rising
I Heart Central Terminal Event Kicks Off Buffalo Unscripted
, Buffalo Rising
"Painting for Preservation hosted its sixth "art-in" on the grounds and inside the Main Concourse of the Central Terminal. The group also unveiled an interactive art installation where event attendees could contribute scrapbook-style artwork to pinpoint places that matter to them on a map of Buffalo. The group plans to make the piece a fixture at upcoming art-ins leading up to the National Preservation Conference."

Central Terminal Grandeur, Painting for Preservation

I Am Her: The Fine Art of Dana Saylor, Buffalo First!


Painting for Preservation is an eclectic and inclusive group of artists of all media and skill level that gathers to make art of historic buildings, drawing attention to their aesthetics and the opportunity for preservation. We also seek to highlight the artwork of artists working within the urban environment. The art also creates a record of what we hope are the "before" shots of preservation-ready historic buildings.

Check back soon for the next Painting for Preservation locations [August 13, August 27, September 11] or email Sara M. Zak, Founder or Meagan Baco, Co-organizer, at P4Partist@gmail.com for more information. Sites for 2012 are in discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment