Last fall, Albright-Knox Art Gallery officials launched a series of meetings and focus groups to gauge public opinion on the gallery's challenges and its future growth. On Monday night, director Janne Sirén shared the results of those meetings with a large crowd in the gallery's auditorium.
At the public input meetings, held throughout Erie County over the past several months, attendees gave feedback to questions by sticking colored dots to one of several pre-written answers on a series of poster boards.
The results from that exercise are in, and they show -- perhaps not surprisingly -- that the more than 300 attendees at the public meeting overwhelmingly favor an Albright-Knox expansion on its current campus.
Below is a breakdown of the data the Albright-Knox collected during its meetings, with an opportunity for you to cast your vote to see how it matches up with those who participated in the first step of the gallery's public outreach process. It's worth keeping in mind that this process was far from scientific and was preceded in every case by a presentation from Sirén that strongly suggested the need for an expansion to house the gallery's rapidly growing collection.
In assessing the gallery's current problems, nearly half of respondents cited a lack of exhibition space, with layout, access and educational facilities ranking as secondary concerns:
One of the most common complaints at any museum is that patrons' favorite artworks are not on view when they visit, and that rings true in Buffalo as well:
Reaction was more divided when meeting attendees were asked what amenities or functions would make them come to the gallery more often, with the largest number (17 percent) expressing a desire for more evening hours. The gallery is currently opened from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of special events and M&T First Fridays, when it is open until 10 p.m.
When it came to the yes or no questions, there were few surprises: