The exhibition in Venice

Our curatorial approach and exhibition team

exhibition space in palazzo mora.

"Buffalo Constructing Buffalo: From Olmsted to Van Valkenburgh," installed at the Time Space Existence exhibition in Venice's historic Palazzo Mora. Photos by gerda studio.

This is a story about the citizens of Buffalo, their inspired vision for a world-class park, and the hard work we have done together to plan our city's future.

- Dean Robert G. Shibley, who leads the Imagine LaSalle effort and is curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition interprets the civic planning process behind the creation of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park: the thousands of citizens who shaped it, the foundation of city plans that informed it, and the best practices research that inspired it. That process has been guided by the faculty and students of the School of Architecture and Planning, whose engagement with the city dates to the School’s founding in 1969.

The exhibition in Venice, Italy, is presented as a series of "story boards" that interpret the civic planning process behind Buffalo's planning for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park. The story includes the community visioning process for the park, the history and foundation of city plans that informed it, and the best practices research that inspired it. 

Twenty-one six-foot-tall illustrated panels wrap around the one-room exhibition space in the historic Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy. Aberg-Riger’s scrolling text and visuals are designed to be viewed episodic manner or as a linear story, whatever the visitor prefers. UB students designed a special table at the center of the room, which will allow exhibit-goers to take a deeper dive into the planning reports, technical drawings and studies associated with Imagine LaSalle. Copies of the city’s full planning framework reveal the collective vision for Buffalo’s future. A video on Imagine LaSalle produced by John Paget’s First + Main Films will also be shown as part of the exhibit.

The "Buffalo Constructing Buffalo" exhibition at Time Space Existence in Venice, Italy, is made possible by the generous support of Robert Skerker and the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

The exhibition team

bob shibley.

Robert G. Shibley

Curator| Dean and Professor, School of Architecture and Planning

An internationally regarded urban planner and architect, Bob Shibley leads the Imagine LaSalle effort in partnership with the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, the School of Architecture and Planning's regional planning research institute. Through a long-running partnership in community-driven planning with our city and region, Bob and our faculty and students have engaged thousands of citizen voices in planning Buffalo's future. The work has elevated public expectations for design and planning and spurred the rebirth of our region. “Buffalo will stand apart for this park because every design gesture, landscape element and programming decision began with the aspirations of our community. The process has evolved over decades in line with a city that elevates design in service to the public. It is the next chapter in a decades-long narrative of ‘Buffalo constructing Buffalo.’”

ariel aberg-riger.

Ariel Aberg-Riger

Visual Narrative | Buffalo-based visual artist

Ariel Aberg-Riger, a Buffalo-based visual artist, developed the visual narrative of the exhibit. Her graphic narratives have covered topics from affordable housing to domestic violence and have been exhibited and published internationally. “As a visual storyteller, I use both text and found historical images and artifacts to bring narratives to life. My approach aims to slow readers down so they can truly immerse themselves in the story and wander through the past. Buffalo is such a beautiful city, and exploring the history and legacy of its parks and greenways was fascinating,” she says.

julia jamrozik.

Julia Jamrozik

Exhibit Designer | Assistant professor of architecture, School of Architecture and Planning

Julia Jamrozik, a designer, artist, and educator, led the exhibition design. An assistant professor of architecture at UB, she explores the role of play in the built environment and alternative methods of documentation as a mode of historic preservation. “The idea behind the exhibit design is to try to show the complexity of the story while at the same time facilitating a coherent yet memorable visitor experience. The exhibit is bold but at the same time approachable."

The exhibition was designed with the assistance of UB Master of Architecture students Lukas Fetzko, Stanicka Mathurin, Rutuja Shinde, and Christopher Sweeney.

lukas fetzko.

Lukas Fetzko

stanicka mathurin.

Stanicka Mathurin

stanicka mathurin.

Rutuja Santosh Shinde

chris sweeney.

Christopher Sweeney

Taking Buffalo's story to the world

This is the second time UB has given world billing to Buffalo's inspired city-making and its role in that work. In 2018, the School of Architecture and Planning debuted See It Through Buffalo as part of the 2018 Time Space Existence exhibition. The documentary film explores the city’s urban landscapes as inspiration and setting for the School's place-based teaching and research. It was produced with First + Main Films of Buffalo.