Last evening The Buffalo Architecture Foundation held an opening of their Arts and Education
exhibit at the CEPA gallery. The opening reception took place at the Market
Arcade Building (617 Main Street). After checking out another show by photographer Max Collins at the Main Washington Exchange, we found ourselves walking into the Market Arcade to see what some of the young students had dreamed up. If you’re not familiar with the Arts+Education Exhibit, then here’s a quick rundown from Mike Puma:
The Arts and Education exhibit is result of a collaboration
between local architects, UB’s School of Architecture and Planning, and
teachers in the Buffalo Public Schools. Teachers paired up with an architect
and worked together to incorporate architecture into their curriculum. The
result was numerous works by children from various grade levels who have studied
architecture and interpreted it in their own ways.
Schools involved in the project include, Discovery School #57,
Frederick Law Olmsted #64, Community School #53, Buffalo Academy of Visual and
Performing Arts, and the Architecture and Design Academy.
In one example, students in a Kindergarten class at Olmsted
#64 studied the shapes of the alphabet, which each student being assigned a
letter. The students created the shape of the letter with their bodies and
looked for it in examples of architecture. After creating their art in 2D, the
class created a finished product in 3D.
There is sure to be a wide variety of interesting and
different art as these students have understood and interpreted the
architecture they encounter in their daily lives.
We were duly impressed by what we found while walking through the exhibit, and I was immediately reminded that young minds often bring out the playfulness of concepts that adults often overlook. For example, I found one project that really spoke to me – the proposal attempted figure out a solution for grain silo reuse. The young students had taken in the the visual layouts of the structures and had deduced that they would be best suited for activities such as go-cart racing, water park, Laser Tag, trampoline bounce house and roller rink skating (among others). They call the entertainment complex ‘Thrillville’. I’ve been through these silos and have to say that these students are really onto something.
We’ve all seen how far families will travel for these sorts of activities, and a couple of the larger silos are already cleaned out and awaiting reuse… think about it for a second. What would the upfront cost be to operate Laser Tag out of a silo? Not much. Is roller skating an activity that is on the forefront of any adult’s mind here in Buffalo? Probably not. Do families travel and spend money on their kids? Yes. Are there some silo owners who may be interested in these types of ideas? Yes.
Not to say that down the road there are better uses for these hulking structures, but for now these are achievable ideas that should be looked at. I’m really proud of all of the students who came up with various solutions for some pretty tough case studies. From sun and shading demonstrations (Discovery School #67: Grade 1), to designing a new courtyard space for their school (Buffalo Public School #53), and so many other clever installations, everyone did a great job.