Buffalo, NY – The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative recently completed a new mural at 1131 Broadway by artist Muhammad Zaman (American, born Bangladesh, 1990). Titled Our Colors Make Us Beautiful, the mural is Zaman’s largest work to date.
Buried in the layers of calligraphic forms at the center of this mural is its poetic title, Our Colors Make Us Beautiful, in the three languages that inform the artist’s identity: English, the language of his adopted home; Bengali, the language of his homeland; and Arabic, the language of his religion.
“We’ve been serving our clients and Buffalo’s East Side community for decades, and are thrilled to see this amazing piece of art for our treatment center,” said Elizabeth L. Mauro, Chief Executive Officer at Endeavor Health Services. “This art helps to make the neighborhood more vibrant, strengthens the community, and most importantly, enriches our clients who use this facility every day. We want to take this opportunity to thank the artist, Muhammad Zaman, the Albright-Knox, and Tony Diina, from Metro Insight, who made this public art project possible.”
Zaman’s wide-ranging projects—from works on paper and paintings to this mural—are all grounded in language, and his compositions come together through an organic accumulation of multilingual thought fragments. In Our Colors Make Us Beautiful, Zaman explores the possibilities of verbal and visual expression to bring about mutual understanding and empathy among people from diverse walks of life.
Other recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects include Louise Jones’s mural Wildflowers for Buffalo at 465 Washington Street; Robert Indiana’s NUMBERS ONE through ZERO sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe; White Bicycle’s mural We Are Here at 1260 Hertel Avenue; Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote’s mural weego at 1503 Hertel Avenue; Otecki’s (Wojciech Kołacz) mural Work and Play at 617 Fillmore Avenue; The Freedom Wall, completed by artists John Baker, Julia Bottoms, Chuck Tingley, and Edreys Wajed at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street; 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; Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez’s mural Welcome Wall at 751 Fillmore Avenue; Bunnie Reiss's mural Magic Buffalo at 1322 Hertel Avenue; Shantell Martin’s mural Dance Everyday at 537 East Delavan Avenue; Daniel Galas’s mural 72 Jewett at 74 Jewett Avenue; Amanda Browder’s Spectral Locus installation at three separate locations throughout Buffalo; Alice Mizrachi’s mural Dream Keepers at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology; Roberley Bell’s Locus Amoenus installation at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s mural Noodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installation We Share a Dream at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport; Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and ReWilding New York (Community Seed Stations), a two-fold work that took place over the summer of 2015; Shayne Dark’s 2015 exhibition Natural Conditions and residency at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; Jaume Plensa’s Silent Poets at Canalside; Casey Riordan’s Shark Girl at Canalside; Tape Art’s Buffalo Caverns, a massive, temporary mural made with low-adhesive drawing tape on the north wall of the Central Library branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; a billboard- and sticker-based iteration of Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful project, made possible in part through a partnership with Lamar Advertising; and Charles Clough’s collaboratively produced Hamburg Arena Painting, which is installed at the Hamburg Public Library. The Public Art Initiative has also distributed 30,000 art kits to students throughout Erie County.
The Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the Albright-Knox and Erie County established in 2013. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the Initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to engage, respond, and cooperatively produce great public art that can empower individuals, create stronger neighborhoods, and establish Western New York as a vital cultural center.
Support for Our Colors Make Us Beautiful has been provided by C2 Paint and Hyatt’s Graphic Supply Company. Additional support has been provided by the sponsors of the Summer of AK.