Albright-Knox Names Aaron Ott Public Art Curator
March 14, 2014
Buffalo, NY – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced Aaron Ott as Public Art Curator today. Ott is charged with developing public art projects throughout Erie County to bring art beyond the environs of the museum and into the community. He will work closely with the curatorial team at the Albright-Knox and with the newly formed Public Art Committee, comprising representatives from Erie County and the AK, to develop projects that expand the experience of art in its many expressions for the benefit of Erie County residents and visitors alike.
The Public Art Works initiative is the result of a public/private partnership between the Albright-Knox and Erie County. Ott will oversee the initiative, which will contribute to a sense of place and identity for Western New Yorkers by enriching major focal points in the urban and suburban landscape and in the public sphere more broadly. The initiative will provide opportunities for artists based in Erie County and will also canvas international contemporary artistic practice.
Speaking about the appointment, the Albright-Knox’s Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director, Dr. Janne Sirén, said, “We at the AK were all very impressed with Aaron’s dynamism, intelligence, and engagement with public art. From a field of more than three dozen applicants, including local, national, and even international candidates, Aaron stood out as being right for the AK, for our public art initiative, and for the diverse residents of and visitors to Erie County. We are excited by the vision and collaborative spirit Aaron brings to our team.”
Speaking from his current home in Chicago, Ott said, “I am delighted to join the Albright-Knox’s staff and look forward to working hand in hand with the Erie County community on this remarkable initiative, which will bring great, innovative public art projects to the area.”
Aaron Ott earned his BFA in photography from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, graduating as valedictorian from the School of Art. He holds an MA in Museum and Exhibition Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and was designated the Illinois Museum Studies Graduate Student of the Year by the Illinois Association of Museums in 2012.
Most recently, Ott has worked as an independent curator, writer, and art preparator in the Chicago metropolitan area, where he has engaged in projects with the Hyde Park Art Center, the Elmhurst Art Museum, Columbia College, and the Chicago Artists Coalition, for which he was selected as the 2013–2014 Curatorial Resident for HATCH Projects.
Ott will begin full-time at the Albright-Knox on April 1 and is presently relocating from Chicago to Western New York.