BUFFALO, N.Y. – WNED’s Horizons Gallery will host “Restoration/Ornamentation: Images of The Lafayette by Jacqueline Albarella,” curated by Gerald Mead.
The free exhibition will be on view weekdays July 10-31 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located in the WNED studios at 140 Lower Terrace, across from the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo. Free parking is available.
An opening reception, also free and open to all, will take place Tuesday, July 10 at 5 p.m.
The photographs in this exhibition poignantly capture the restoration of downtown Buffalo’s opulent Hotel Lafayette. Built in 1904, the Lafayette was once regarded as one of the nation’s finest hotels and considered architect Louise Bethune’s masterpiece. Left to decline for decades, the hotel was recently restored to its historic grandeur.
Granted total access during the restoration process, artist and award winning documentary filmmaker Jackie Albarella captured the building’s journey from flophouse to historic landmark. For the past year, she documented each stage of the hotel’s rebirth, walking through dust-filled rooms, abandoned basement areas and ceiling holes.
Albarella’s photographs depict the Lafayette’s transformation — from individual details to entire rooms — illustrating the emergence of beauty from states of decay. Elegant details, including ornate plasterworks, crystal chandeliers and intricately patterned terrazzo floors, reflect the building’s age-old craftsmanship and beauty.
“They are powerful images that serve as a tribute to Bethune and the many artisans who executed (and restored) the architect’s elaborate designs,” says Albarella, who describes witnessing the restoration as “a hunt.”
“Modern drop ceilings were pulled down and an art deco ceiling appeared; that was pulled down and the original, intact ornate plaster beams were revealed,” she said. “Doors painted Pepto-Bismol pink were refinished to unmask the original solid mahogany. Painted white chandeliers with missing crystals were restored to reveal sparkling brass, elegantly engraved with the letters ‘H’ and ‘L.’ ”
She also plans to create both a book and a documentary using these images.
For more information about the artist, visit albarellamedia.com/gallery.
**** Representative exhibition images are available upon request to email@example.com or (716) 845-7000, ext. 382. ****
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