Local artist, educator, and architect Dennis Maher—the Albright-Knox’s 2012–2013 Artist in Residence—has been exploring approaches to demolition, renovation, and restoration since 2003. Maher says, “I’m formulating a practice that combines art, architecture, and civic activism.” His work involves collecting discarded building materials from demolition sites and using them in the construction of new environments.
Maher’s house on Fargo Avenue in Buffalo is a laboratory for these studies, a site of “continuous renovation inside and out that merges the imaginary with the real world.” He believes that everyone’s house is the site of a creative interaction between art and everyday life and feels that those who work with their own hands have a special connection to this knowledge.
For his Artist-in-Residence project, House of Collective Repair, Maher invited local tradespeople into his house, shared his process with them, and asked them to create small house models using the materials of their trades.
These tradespeople are:
- Joaquin Aristizabal, Amecol Construction (Flooring)
- Dan Farrell, Lost Cities Restorations (Windows and Doors)
- Joe Galvin, Home Restoration Painting (Painting)
- Jamillah Green, United Mechanical Contracting (Plumbing)
- Dave Hill, Bricks, Sticks & Stones (Masonry)
- Khallidah McQueen, Quality First (Weatherization)
- Peter A. Szalay and Al Szalay, A&B Light Heat & Power (Electrical)
- Chris Ziolkowski, Zee’s Property Services (Roofing)
Maher has incorporated their house models into an installation of his own work, which is on view in the special exhibition House of Collective Repair.
This exhibition is organized by Associate Curator of Education Nancy Spector.