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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.

Located at 585 Niagara Street (Get Directions)

Artist, community activist, and educator Betsy Casañas was invited by the Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative, the Hispanic Heritage Council, 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.

In the beginning stages of the project, Casañas met with members of the community to discuss their desired content for the mural. From these conversations, Casañas developed a design that responds to their shared wish to celebrate cultural heritage, to honor those immigrants and families who form the bedrock of the community, and to encourage participation in the resurgent future of this region. Casañas’s composition was inspired by the mixed and integrated Latinx community she encountered in Buffalo. 

Public paint day at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library

Public paint day at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Public paint day at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library

Public paint day at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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

Installation of Betsy Casañas's mural 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. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

Aided by local artists, Casañas led members of the community in a series of public paint days at our partner location, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library, and at the mural's site. Through the many hands that have touched this artwork, it will serve as a vibrant community touchstone of Avenida San Juan.

Public Paint Days

July 26 and 27, 1–5 pm: 585 Niagara Street
July 28 and 31, 1–5 pm: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library
August 1, 2, and 3, 1–5 pm: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Library

About Betsy Casañas

As an award-winning artist, educator, and social activist, Betsy Casañas has dedicated her practice to empowering neighborhoods through murals that fuse the historical and contemporary imagery of their communities. To date, she has created more than 40 murals and mosaics across the world. Casañas is also a cofounder of the grassroots arts initiative Semilla Arts and owns and manages A Seed on Diamond Gallery. Both organizations aim to connect underserved communities in Philadelphia with the visual and performing arts.

Project Sponsors

This mural was created in partnership with the Rich Family Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York. Funding for this project was provided by the Rich Family Foundation and M&T Bank. Extraordinary support was provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalove Development, and countless volunteer painters. 

AK Public Art mural projects are generously underwritten by the New Era Cap 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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