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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Painting for Preservation Event in Buffalo's Cobblestone District

Today I took to the cobblestoned streets with eight other members of the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters to capture scenes of the Old Blacksmith's Shop in Buffalo's historic Cobblestone District.  This district now is almost all parking lot, but there is a jewel left among the gravel and concrete -- about a block of this district remains intact from the 1830s.  Buffalo was the terminus for the Erie Canal, business was booming, and the Cobblestone District (a stone's through from the water) was a busy (and rough) neighborhood.  This building (with a series of additions) first started out as a state-of-the-art steam bakery.  It's last use was as a Blacksmith's Shop.

We held our paint in the day before the scheduled demolition hearing (the hearing was cancelled -- now we just have to hope they don't get permission to demolish in the dead of night.)

Here's some photos of participants hard at work capturing the scene:

Here are a few articles and pictures of the building, the event, and the proposals for this location from Buffalo Rising:

A couple of my paintings of this location:


Welcome to Painting for Preservation.  This initiative is aimed at drawing attention to at-risk historic locations through on site art making.  I've started this effort in Buffalo, NY in collaboration with Preservation Ready Sites and the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters.  Using a list developed by Preservation Ready Sites of Buffalo's top 12 preservation opportunites, painters from across the region with an interest in historic buildings and urban landscapes are coming together to raise awareness of these buildings by making paintings on site.  Artists of all media are welcome to join the effort -- photographers, sculptors, performance, new media..

My hope is that we can continue this effort in Buffalo and expand the concept to other architecturally rich cities.  Please e-mail me if you are interested in this initiative at sara@saramzak.com