Nearly 100 guests attended a ribbon-cutting celebration February 26 on the third floor of Rockwell Hall recognizing the newly renovated and expanded space for SUNY Buffalo State’s Art Conservation Department. The invitation-only event brought together numerous people who helped build the program over the years, including former directors Elizabeth Peña, Chris Tahk, and James Hamm, along with alumni, donors, and friends.
Designed by Sean Khorshandi and Sam Anderson of Samuel Anderson Architects of New York City, the new, 6,434-square-foot space includes an exquisitely designed conservation library, suite of studios, laboratories, conference room, and lounge.
“This is a new and exciting time…a dream has been realized,” said Benjamin Christy, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “We are delighted that Buffalo State has expanded the department’s facility by one-third, creating new laboratories and extraordinary opportunities for our students to explore and master techniques for the preservation of the priceless objects of mankind’s cultural heritage.”
Along with recognizing the completion of the multimillion-dollar project, Buffalo State officials named the Dan Kushel Conservation Imaging Studio. More than 200 art conservation alumni made a gift in honor of Kushel, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, who retired in September after 34 years at Buffalo State.
Patrick Ravines, associate professor and director of art conservation, recognized Kushel along with the “many valiant souls” who played a role in seeing the project to completion.
“Buffalo State is deeply committed to art conservation,” said Ravines, who became the department’s director two-and-a-half-years ago. “I am honored and humbled by the college’s commitment to the department.”
He noted that the renovated program space, “will benefit graduate students and faculty alike, and also will help in recruiting the best students wanting to pursue the career of conservation of art and cultural heritage.”