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Community members at work during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 on some of the cyanotypes that will serve as the inspiration for Hillary Waters Fayle’s 244 Dewitt Street mural

Community members at work during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 on some of the cyanotypes that will serve as the inspiration for Hillary Waters Fayle’s 244 Dewitt Street mural.

Future Location: 244 Dewitt Street

Buffalo-born and Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle’s mural for 244 Dewitt Street celebrates both the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo as well as the everyday connection between local residents and our natural surroundings. As part of Garden Walk Buffalo 2019, Fayle collaborated with community members to create cyanotypes—contact prints created using sun-sensitive paper—based on local plants. Copies of these images will serve as the inspiration for the artist’s Dewitt Street mural, which will take shape later this year.

Describing the project, Fayle has said,

“I want to salvage and revive our individual and collective connection to the natural world. . . . [using] found botanical and organic material . . . to symbolically bind nature and the human touch. Our connection to the land is so obvious in gardens, on a windowsill or a backyard or a farm, where plants nourish our bodies and souls. They connect us in a very tangible way to the land. . . . Plants are a marker of place, a connection to the land and to our past; native or invasive, the plants of our homes feel like old friends to us.” 

Cyanotype prints of local plants created during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 drying.

Cyanotype prints of local plants created during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 drying.

Cyanotype prints of local plants created during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 drying.

Cyanotype prints of local plants created during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 drying.

Within an urban context, especially one as rapidly changing and dynamic as that found on Buffalo’s West Side, she draws a parallel between the natural advantages of planting gardens with many different types of plants and the benefits diversity can bring to our human communities. “The plants in a garden support one another,” she explains, “and they work together to create a unified community. We can use that metaphor to talk about our own communities and to celebrate the beauty in our diversity.”

Project Sponsors

Funding for this project was provided by the Rich Family Foundation.

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

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