Skip to Main Content

Aerial view of the community dedication celebration for Betsy Casañas's Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues To Be Yours) at 585 Niagara St

Aerial view of the community dedication celebration for Betsy Casañas's Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues To Be Yours) at 585 Niagara Street on August 25, 2017. Photograph by MK Photo.

AK Public Art Spotlight: Betsy Casañas Mural at 585 Niagara Street

September 6, 2017

Artist, community activist, and educator Betsy Casañas was invited by the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative, the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, and the Rich Family Foundation to create a mural celebrating the significant contributions made by the region’s Hispanic and Latinx communities to the cultural and economic vitality of Buffalo’s Niagara Street corridor and our city at large. The composition was thoughtfully arranged with strong and responsive symbolic content that includes elements of local cultural heritage, with segments that portray agricultural production, industrial work, and broad cultural signifiers of the shared Hispanic communities in our region and beyond. Casañas’s composition was also inspired by the mixed and integrated Latinx community she encountered in Buffalo. 

Betsy Casañas speaks during the dedication ceremony on August 25, 2017. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Betsy Casañas with Public Art Project Coordinator Eric Jones (left) and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (right) during the dedication ceremony on August 25, 2017. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Casimiro Rodriguez, president of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, addresses the crowd and media on August 25, 2017. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Like Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez in their recent mural Welcome Wall at 751 Fillmore Avenue, Casañas frequently uses the Polytab Method for installing murals. Polytab, or “parachute cloth,” is easily transported and can be worked on in small spaces, allowing murals to be prepared in studios, classrooms, and a number of non-traditional spaces. The work can be completed in sections, like a quilt, and later patched together like wallpaper to create a seamless mural that can integrate the works of artists who would otherwise never have the opportunity to work together. Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues to Be Yours) was created by various artists during the summer of 2017 at 585 Niagara Street and at our partner location, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library Central Library. The mural was installed in August 2017 and dedicated at a community celebration on August 25, 2017.

Back to Top