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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Art of Place in South Dakota

I recently received an e-mail from Liz Almlie, an historic preservation specialist with South Dakota State Historical Society.  She and her organization were inspired by Painting for Preservation and their local plein air painters to host The Art of Place.  The event was structured with a workshop day to kickoff the event in May 2013 and then, a month later, an exhibit booth at their local “Oahe Days” summer festival (Oahe is the name of the Missouri River dam close by). 

The workshops included a photo walk in our historic downtown, a cemetery tour, a field sketching session, and a presentation on the Historic Preservation Commission’s new QR code project. 
The Art of Place was a partnership between the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office and the statewide non-profit, Preserve South Dakota.  Local groups including the Pierre/Fort Pierre Historic Preservation Commission, the Canvasbacks Art Club, the Central SD Photography Club, and the Short Grass Arts Council participated with programs, volunteers, artists, and materials.    It was a pilot project, and they did not have any major advocacy needs locally, so they let artists choose any local historic place and any media that we could accommodate.  Paintings, drawings, photographs, and even a ceramic piece depicted historic houses, commercial buildings, churches, bridges, memorials, a walk-up ice cream place, and the SD State Capitol.

Here is the link to their call for participation (already complete): http://preservesd.org/?p=597

Photo tour (image by Kate Nelson)
Booth with the artwork of historic places (photos by Liz Almlie)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Delaware Court Building Art-In

Please join us Saturday, September, 14th 9:30am - 1pm for on-site art-making at the corner of Delaware and Chippewa. Artists of all media welcome. The location offers multiple views of great street scenes. The proposed Uniland development of the Delaware Court building will alter the streetscape greatly. There is a parking garage, driveway, and loading dock on Chippewa in the proposal (along with the many stories upward). Here is an article from Buffalo Rising about the development.


The Delaware Court Building meets several of the criteria for listing as a City of Buffalo Landmark,
as enumerated in the Buffalo Code:
• It is on a conspicuous site and sensitive site, has character, interest, and value as part of the development
and heritage of Delaware Avenue and Buffalo. (Criterium 1)
• It is architecturally and historically significant as an example of the early 20th century Neo- Classical
retail and office building; probably the best and largest of its kind in the city. (3)
• It embodies in its encyclopedic use of terra cotta Classical ornamentation the distinguishing characteristics
of an architectural style which makes it valuable for the study of commercial architecture
of the Edwardian era. (5)
• It is designed by an architectural firm whose members influenced the development of the city for
80 years and whose work encompassed over 100 buildings. (6)
• Its unique location and form make it a familiar visual feature within the city. (9)

photo from http://www.buffaloah.com/a/del/232/

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Images from the Silo City/BALLE conference Art-In

The art-in at Silo City during the BALLE conference welcomed many artists new to the P4P experience and brought exposure to the concept to many people from outside the area.  My camera died relatively early on, but here are the images I was able to capture!
George Gilham "Silo City."  This piece create at the art-in won the people's choice award at the Buffalo Society of Artists sponsored exhibit, City of Night Silos!

Mike Killelea

Rita Auerbach and Dana Saylor

Sara Zak and Kath Schifano

BALLE Conference Attendees

Bernie Smith with finished painting

Sandra Winiasz

Liz Czapski

Marissa Lehner

George Gilham

George Gilham

Paul Alico

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Painting for Preservation Joins BALLE conference in Buffalo, NY

Grain Silo_5, Buffalo, NY by Steve Siegel

Painting for Preservation will be participating in the opening reception and session of the BALLE  Conference (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) by doing what we do… making on-site art at historic structures.  Come join us for a rare evening event on Wednesday, June 12th, 5:00pm – 7:30pm at Silo City.  Capture the majestic grain elevators overlooking the water at dusk.  Artists of all media and skill level are welcome.  The Facebook invite can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/669510153074520/.

When Painting for Preservation introduced its program to hundreds of National Preservation Conference attendees in 2011, the response was overwhelming with many enthusiastically saying that they intended to share the idea with their home cities.  This uniquely Buffalo artists’ initiative showcases our grassroots spirit, our belief in Buffalo’s possibilities, and brings together two of our greatest assets – our architecture and our artists.  This is a great (and free) way to participate in the BALLE conference!

Here's a map of the location. Just down Ohio Street from Riverfest Park! http://goo.gl/maps/6pxbs Drive in, park and draw/paint/photograph, etc!

We recently held an event at Trico Plant 1.  See some of the great artwork and event photos below.  To learn more about the preservation issues surrounding this daylight factory style building, see

A very serious young artist.
 His completed work is hanging at the Jung Center with our Painting for Preservation group show

Making art on our city streets

Bernie Smith just starting out

Photograph by Steve Siegel

The beginning of George Gilham's painting -- it turned quite abstract!

Trico by Kaitlyn Gilham

Photograph by Steve Siegel (with Nancy Siegel)

Looking down Ellicott Street (or the view from Trico) by Bernice Smith
Drawing by Dana Saylor

Trico Entrance by Michael Killelea

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

36-50 E. Utica Street: A wonderful morning

The most recent art-in at 36-50 E. Utica Street exemplifies everything that P4P strives to do.  We were so fortunate that during the time we were there; the Utica Heights Block Club was also conducting a Spring Clean-Up and a community social hour.  We had the pleasure of meeting many local residents and hearing about their efforts to enhance the neighborhood.  Their vision for their community is really inspiring.  We had beautiful light, and so many artists made beautiful work -- we were taken in by the energy of the place.  We were joined by 4 young artists, always one of the things I love most about art-ins!

Here it is in pictures!  A list of the participating artists is located below.
Thanks to Steve Siegel for the photograhs!

Linda Ludwig

Jean Coffin

Carol Siracuse

Michelle Schroeder

Tim Raymond

Carol Siracuse

Artists included: Carol Siracuse, Dana Saylor, Michelle Schroeder, Abby Schroeder, Steve Siegel, Tim Raymond, Jennifer Fendya, Pat Pendleton, Bernice Smith, Linda Ludwig, Jean Coffin,  Mickey Harmon, Michael Mulley, Craig Gawlak, Christopher Byrd, Becky Harbison, Kathy Schifano, Sara M. Zak

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trico Plant #1 Art-In

Event: Trico Art-In
Date:  Saturday, June 1
Time: 9:30am -12:30 pm

Join us for on-site art-making at the historic Trico Plant #1. Artists of all skill level and media are welcome as are any interested observers and community members. To read more about this location, check out this article from Buffalo Spree, http://www.buffalospree.com/Buffalo-Spree/March-2012/Preservation-Ready-Trico-Plant-1/ or join the Save Trico FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/203056219787921/?fref=ts

This site is rich with Buffalo history and is a designated landmark on the National Register, however local preservationists are working hard to secure local landmark status to help ensure that it stays a part of our city's urban fabric. Our industrial history is a key component to our regrowth, and it is vital to the visual language and character of our city.

The oldest building within the complex, originally the Christian Weyland Brewery cold storage building, was built in 1890. The facade of this building is still visible from the Ellicott St. side and is situated within the larger additions from the 1920s (and onward) afterit was acquired by Trico to manufacture windshield wipers. The complex grew to include excellent examples of the Daylight Factory style. 

For those looking to portray Trico within the city, there are interesting views of downtown from this location as well.

Photo from http://buffaloah.com/a/washngtn/817/817.html

Friday, May 10, 2013

Three East Side Beauties + 23 North Street in pictures

Painting for Preservation will gather at three beautiful Queen Anne style townhouses on May 18, 2013, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.  I remember driving with Meg to take a look at 53 Laurel Street as an art-in location; I pointed out these three homes as places I'd love to turn into an artist residency program.  I'm always picking out buildings that would make for great residencies or installation galleries (Buffalo's chock-full of them!) This past March, organizing P4P member Dana Saylor researched and wrote this great article for Buffalo Spree highlighting the homes.  I can't wait to make a painting of these, hoping for bright sun and beautiful shadows that fall across the white and red!

Mickey Harmon
On Saturday May 3, we gathered at 23 North Street in Buffalo's Historic Allentown.  The night before, a fabulous historian said he hoped someone would represent the building as red brick as it was originally instead of the "hideous yellow" that it is currently.  I am guilty of loving the hideous yellow and was happy to find that some of my color loving compatriots felt the same.  The light and shadows played joyfully across the building's surface.  We had the opportunity to talk to a few of the neighbors about the building and the lack of any movement on it.  We were told that some of the restored apartments across the street were going for as much as $2300 a month; so perhaps investing in the rehabilitation of this grand old mansion would be financially worthwhile. The images artists created of this place were truely inspired!  Artist participants were Mickey Harmon, Sarah Liddle, Dana Saylor, Michael Killelea, Tim Raymond, Marie Prince, Jon Furman, Michele Agosto (and sons!), Michelle Schroeder,  Kathy Schifano, Steve Siegel, Becky Harbison, Sara M. Zak
Michele Agosto

Mickey Harmon
Steve Siegel

Tim Raymond

Michele Agosto

Michelle Schroeder
Michele Agosto
Jon Furman

Dana Saylor and Nancy Siegel

Micheael Killelea
Kathy Schifano
Sara M. Zak
Steve Siegel

Michael Killelea