The movement was founded by Sara M. Zak, fine artist regularly working with distressed and difficult environments, among them empty cornerstores, abondoned gas stations, and bird's eyes perspective of entire neighborhoods wrecked by disinterest and disinvestment. Once developed into a group and regular event, with the help of Preservation-Ready Sites and the Niagara Frontier Plein-Air Painters, the goals developed to include:
- Raise awareness of at-risk, distressed and under-utilized locations and their neighborhoods
- Create a record of historically rich locations through art
- Create a community of artists invested in the urban landscape
- Bring exposure and provide assistance to artists interested in documenting at-risk historic neighborhoods while also collaborating with members of those same neighborhoods.
- Involve communities in sharing their stories of local historic architectural and their neighborhoods.
The most visible and controversial P4P location was St. Mary's on the Hill, a ca. 1897 church and adjacent guild house, that was long vacant and neglected leading to its ultimate demolished during the Art-In. Many artists included the crane and backhoe in their renderings. True to its mission, many Painting for Preservation participants, particularly photographers returned over the many days of demolition to document the diminishing property. These will be a record of the unnecessary loss of this historic asset.
The original opening of ART + PRESERVATION took place during the National Preservation Conference, the annual meeting of the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Wednesday, October 18, 2011. Buffalo was collectively looking forward to this event for several years since it was announced that over 2,500 preservationists would be exploring our City. The Conference broke a 10 year attendance record and brought a renewed enthusiasm to Buffalo's restoration and rehabiltiation projects and also spurred frequent positive media attention of our historic assets. It has many times been said that Buffalo's architectural heritage is deserving of more local attention, simply because it is already known nationally, and even internationally.
It was a pleasure to share many of Buffalo's historic places as they were uniquely illustrated by Painting for Preservation artists. For preservationists, ART + PRESERVATION offered yet another perspective to the beauty of classical architecture, in all states of repair and disrepair. The public opening took place during the annual meeting of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, the regional preservation advocacy organization, on Monday, November 14, 2011, and boosted attendance of over 200.
Participating artists in ART + PRESERVATION includes: Sara M. Zak, Meagan Baco, Michael T. Harmon, Amanda Maciuba, Dana Saylor-Furman, and Steve Siegel as well as, Tim Raymond, Mark Severson, Michael Mulley, Joan Langley Shaw, Bernice Smith, Casey William Milbrand, Amanda Hippert, Anna Laurie Miller, Michelle Schroeder, Donna Hale, Kath Schiafano, Matthew Measer, Carol Siracuse, Diane Goupil, Elizabeth Leader, William Hutchinson, Suzanne Kashuba, Eillen Elibol, Sara DiNatale, John Farallo, Patrick Willett, Francisco Amaya, Mary Lou Frost, Ann Peterson, Robert Schulman, Sharon Morgante, James Marino, Charles Bartolotta, Paulette Rozwood, Eileen MaNamara, Bill Battaglia, Tara Sasiadek, Joshua Nickerson, Lee Bergwell Hanks, Joyce Hill, Mary Kutas, Linda B. Ludwing, Ruth Mohn, Linda Piper, Thom Neill, Evan Hawkins, David Wiedemer, David Manny, Kate S. Parzych and Phil Durgan.
Painting for Preservation would like to thank Mark Croce, owner of Statler Towers; the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Buffalo Niagara for their collective hosting of ART + PRESERVATION. A special thanks for contributing funds, resources and expertise goes to "See Hear Feel Touch Learn - Experience Art," Hallways Contemporary Arts Center, CEPA Gallery, and John Shotwell.
More information about the history and current condition of all of the sites visited by Painting for Preservation is available below. If you have additional questions or want to suggest locations, email Meagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Old Blacksmith's Shop, Cobblestone District, 120 South Park Avenue - Vacant
- Harris Hardware, East Ferry Street - In Use
- St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum - Rehabilitated as the Health Science Charter School
- Vaux Barn, Best Street at Mills Street - Privately Owned, Vacant
- Lyth Cottage, Hamlin Park Local Historic District - Restoration in Progress
- Buffalo Central Terminal - Rehabilitation in Progress
- Fairfield Library, 1659 Amherst Street - Vacant, For Sale by the City of Buffalo
- St. Mary's on the Hill, Niagara Street at Vermont Street - Demolished
- Saint Adalbert Bascilia - Recently Closed by the Buffalo Diocese
See you in March,
Painting for Preservation