Location: 43 West Chippewa Street (Get Directions)
Artists often have an uncanny ability to channel an era, a cultural zeitgeist, and visionary truths in challenging times. This collaborative mural project was conceived during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to support a broad range of artistic talent in Western New York. In April 2020, in an effort to build community spirit, the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative began working with sixteen local artists. Using materials provided by the Albright-Knox, and working from their home studios, these artists were asked to respond to the initial pandemic-related lockdown requirements. The result is a sixteen-piece collaborative mural that speaks to the individual and collective experiences that we have endured.
Public art is often about community, but during the initial period of the pandemic that required social distancing, being a truly engaged member of our community meant that all but the most essential workers stay home. These artists explored this new reality in a broad range of ways. Strength, resiliency, and respect demanded that we stay apart from one another, but despite this mandatory separation, these artists remained steadfast in their shared social responsibility to each other and to our collective creative culture. These were times of anxiety, loneliness, and uncertainty, as you may see reflected in some works, but patience, perseverance, decency, and hope abound, as well.
Now that these works have been completed, the sections are patched together like a quilt. The resulting installation represents an even greater sense of community than the individual experiences and creative expressions could have captured in their distinct parts.