Establish sculpture park as another tourist draw
After a 45-year downward spiral of decline, our region, with Buffalo as its main focal point, is finally emerging from its doldrums and beginning to show signs of a sustained economic and cultural rebirth. Yes, even we citizen stakeholders are once again “talking proud” about our region and can actually point to statistics and concrete examples for doing so. One such example of this renaissance is none other than the sculpture, Shark Girl.
Recently, The News featured a story that led off with Shark Girl as the No. 1 stop of its Summer Life Top 100 tour of things to see in our area. No matter what one might think about this sculpture and what the undisclosed cost the Albright-Knox Art Gallery paid for this artwork, nothing in recent memory having to do with the arts has done more to stimulate the collective imagination of our community or, for that matter, created more interest and appreciation for contemporary art by so many area residents.
All vibrant urban communities have included in their master plans significant public works of art. Using Shark Girl as a catalyst, I would like to propose that the appropriate community organizations establish a location for a contemporary sculpture park in a green space park setting of several acres. One possible location would be Delaware Park, in the area near the Buffalo History Museum and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. I believe it would connect this cultural corridor together quite nicely and, in addition to being a great tourist draw, it would further enhance local and out-of-town visitor traffic to these two facilities.
Edward F. McKee