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500 Seneca to launch new gallery and arts initiative

The lobby of 500 Seneca, a renovated office and apartment building housed in the former F.N. Burt Paper Box Co., soon will be home to a new art gallery.

The conversion of the space from corporate lobby to art destination is part of a larger initiative dubbed the Cass Project, which will feature artist residencies, exhibitions and events designed to create "a nurturing environment for artists and curators."

Overseeing the project will be Buffalo artist Tina Dillman, a transplant from the Bay Area and founder of the now-shuttered artist residency program Project Grant. She will work with local and internationally known artists.

The first exhibition, featuring new paintings by the former graffiti artist Ian de Beer, is slated to open on Jan. 19. The gallery space will be open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., with exhibitions scheduled to rotate every eight weeks.

Tina Dillman and developer Samuel Savarino are collaborating on a new arts project, gallery and residency program called Project Cass.

“This will be a great opportunity to share some of the exceptional artistic talent in our region with the 700-plus employees and 140-plus residents of the building," Dillman said in a statement, "but it is also important to us that we make it readily accessible to the general public."

The initiative emerged from conversations between Dillman and Samuel Savarino, whose eponymous company was responsible for the redevelopment of the building. The project follows the installation of another major artwork in the 500 Seneca atrium, Shasti O'Leary Soudant's "Weeping Wall."





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