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Design

How to Build a Rust Belt Art Boom

Aaron Ott, the first-ever curator of public art at Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery, talks about leading an uncommon cultural initiative across Western New York.
Aerial view of the community dedication celebration for Betsy Casañas's Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues To Be Yours) at 585 Niagara Street on August 25, 2017.
Aerial view of the community dedication celebration for Betsy Casañas's Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues To Be Yours) at 585 Niagara Street on August 25, 2017.MK Photo

As the director of the Helsinki Art Museum, which is owned and operated by city government, Janne Sirén was required to provide art for the streets and parks of the Finnish capital. So when he moved to Buffalo, New York, in 2013 to become the director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, he asked to meet with their public art curator.

They didn’t have one. Most U.S. museums don’t.