Hotel Henry adds a gallery
Anna Kaplan and Elisabeth Samuels (Resource:Art), Kristine Pottle (Hotel Henry director of programs and creative engagement), and Emily Tucker (Resource:Art)
Photos by kc kratt
Hotel Henry opened this past summer in the H. H. Richardson complex and quickly became a hotspot for dining, conferences, and social events. To enhance the facility’s connection to the community, the hotel hired Kristine H. Pottle as director of programs and creative engagement. Her mission is to bring cultural and other programming to the site that engages local visitors, as well as hotel guests. “Hotel Henry, Richardson Center Corp., and the designers created a committee to select and purchase artwork that became our permanent collection,” says Pottle. “Upon installing the art, it was very noticeable that the many, vast hotel spaces swallowed up the art and more was needed,” she adds.
Pottle met three independent Western New York curators, Anna Kaplan, Elisabeth Samuels, and Emily Tucker—collectively known as Resource:Art—at the Echo Art Fair last year, and realized they had the contacts within the art community to develop an ongoing exhibition program in the spacious hallways of the nineteenth-century Richardsonian Romanesque building. Pottle says that being part of the “museum district,” a gallery seemed like the ideal thing to attract the public and fill empty walls.
Resource:Art projects feature painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media works, and more. “We think of every project as a unique collaboration between the artist and the site,” says Kaplan, “navigating aesthetic, formal, and functional concerns.” The distinctive Hotel Henry exhibition space has been branded The Corridor Gallery and Lounge. The inaugural exhibition, still on view, spotlights the quality and range of art that will be included in future shows.
The current installation includes work by: Jozef Bajus, Ian de Beer, Roberley Bell, Amanda Besl, Jack Drummer (1935-2013), Jackie Felix (1929-2009), Dorothy Fitzgerald, A. J. Fries, Pam Glick, Ani Hoover, Kevin Kegler, Felice Koenig, Mark Leo Lavatelli, Joseph Piccillo, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Joseph Scheer, Kathleen Sherin, Alex Spaulding, Jeffrey Vincent, and (full disclosure) this author.
The current show will be followed by two solo exhibitions in February: Rebecca Allan in the East Wing and Eric Magnuson in the West Wing. A program of solo exhibitions will continue throughout 2018. A juried exhibition is in the offing for the spring. Each exhibition will be accompanied by programming that includes opening receptions and public artist talks. “The first exhibit has been extremely well received,” says Pottle, “as well as the series of Sunday artists talks by participating artists.”
Resource:Art has been shaking up the art scene in Buffalo for the past couple of years with a series of novel events. One recent innovation is their Art Invasion House Party series. The women describe them as “private contemporary art exhibitions in compelling residential settings.” For these events, the gallerists enter a selected home, clear out the host’s artwork, and hang a carefully curated exhibition custom designed for the house. Something like an upscale Tupperware party, except with art and cocktails rather than plasticware. Attendees are guests of the host, with avid Resource:Art supporters invited by the curators. The homeowner gets a free party for his friends (plus a discount on any purchase), and Resource:Art shows off artists’ work in a home setting. Resource:Art works with private clients, corporations, and government agencies in a stated mission “to inject fine art into the visual landscape by facilitating compelling art installations that express the value, vision, and culture of each individual client.”
Artist and educator Bruce Adams is a longtime contributor to Spree.