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Buffalo’s busy fall art season begins in grand fashion Friday night, as a who’s who of local and national artists and aficionados gather in The Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.) for the official kickoff to the third annual Echo Art Fair.

The fair officially opens Saturday morning and will occupy about 25,000 square feet of space on the second floor of the Central Library. It features the work of some 30 individual artists and 12 galleries, plus site-specific installations. (See Page 14 for more details.)

Tonight also marks the unveiling of a new street art project based in Allentown featuring work by several local and national street artists at the intersection of Allen and College streets.

A regionwide project called “My Future Ex,” curated by the University at Buffalo Art Gallery’s Sandra Firmin and Tra Bouscaren, will feature new installations by 17 artists and art collectives at 11 locations across Western New York. That show, which includes an art project by Kamau Patton that will float on the Buffalo River from Sept. 20 to 28, kicks off Sept. 17 and runs through Nov. 23.

On the museum scene, this fall will bring a head-spinning schedule of major exhibitions and installations. The Burchfield Penney Art Center’s long-planned project “The Front Yard,” an outdoor installation that will turn the front of the Elmwood Avenue institution into a constantly shifting visual and sound installation, will open Oct. 18. Meanwhile, the gallery will feature an ambitious exhibition schedule, beginning with a show on Anne Frank opening Tuesday and continuing with new exhibits featuring the work of namesake Charles Burchfield, video artist Woody Vasulka, photographer Missy Kennedy Cleary and the Burchfield Penney’s enormous biennial “Art in Craft Media” show, opening Oct. 12.

Across the street at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, under the direction of newcomer Janne Sirén, the schedule is no less exciting. A major look at works on paper (an Albright-Knox specialty) by the acclaimed sculptor Ken Price will go on view Sept. 27. Heather Pesanti’s excellent exhibition of sculptural work by Robert Therrien will come down Oct. 27 to make way for an innovative new exhibition featuring a large-scale painting by German artist Anselm Kiefer called “der Morgenthau Plan,” which will include an entire room dedicated to audience feedback.

Also this fall, the Albright-Knox will put the finishing touches on a new outdoor sculpture by Jason Middlebrook and host exhibitions by local artist Millie Chen and German artist Kota Ezawa.

Up at Niagara University’s Castellani Art Museum, two major fall exhibitions include the ongoing “Les Diners de Gala,” running through March 2014, and a solo show of new work by local artist Jody Hanson, “Imperfect,” opening Sunday.

And of course, Buffalo’s ever-growing slate of small and mid-sized arts spaces will host several dozen intriguing exhibitions and projects throughout the fall. These range from a planned exhibition of work by Miami artist Clifton Childree at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center to a major collaboration between CEPA Gallery and Big Orbit on the art of sports, opening Sept. 20.

email cdabkowski@buffnews.com