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Hillary Waters Fayle's Botanical Blueprint at 244 Dewitt Street in Buffalo. Photograph by Tom Loonan and Brenda Bieger.

Location: 244 Dewitt Street (Get Directions)

The fragmentary silhouettes of local plants featured in Botanical Blueprint were inspired by the cyanotypes—contact prints on sun-sensitive paper—that Buffalo-born and Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle created in collaboration with visitors to the 25th anniversary edition of Garden Walk Buffalo in July 2019. 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.” 

Community members at work during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 on some of the cyanotypes that served as the inspiration for Hillary Waters Fayle’s Botanical Blueprint

Community members at work during Garden Walk Buffalo 2019 on some of the cyanotypes that served as the inspiration for Hillary Waters Fayle’s Botanical Blueprint.

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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