Buffalo, NY – Today the Albright-Knox Art Gallery unveiled a new mural at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) as part of the AK Public Art Initiative. The mural, titled Dream Keepers, was completed by BCAT students with the guidance and assistance of New York–based artist Alice Mizrachi through the Public Art Public School Voices program.
Public Art Public School Voices is a collaborative educational program developed by the Albright-Knox and BCAT with support from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The curriculum teaches students the essential skills for conceptualizing, planning, and executing a community mural and incorporates lessons about the Harlem Renaissance to show the transformative power of art in communities.
Over the next five years, the AK Public Art Initiative’s mural program will leave an indelible mark on various communities throughout Western New York. These murals will ultimately increase vibrancy, livability, safety, and pride in Buffalo’s historic neighborhoods.
Albright-Knox Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén said, “The Public Art Initiative reflects our vision for a twenty-first century museum that plays an integral, active role in the social and economic life of our region. Public art is out in the community, engaging Western New Yorkers—all Western New Yorkers—in a conversation about our shared environment. Communities need art and culture in order to thrive, and a vibrant cultural landscape is the twenty-first century’s most potent magnet for attracting talent and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Our flourishing public art program signals Buffalo and Erie County’s continuing resurgence.”
Mizrachi is an artist and educator whose work explores the connection between individuals and community. Through figurative work, she aims to inspire both individual expression and a sense of shared humanity. Her work often engages local communities and reflects positive visual responses to social issues affecting neighborhood residents. Her process activates a shared space of love, hope, optimism, and healing as a means to connect with participants.
Mizrachi began working with Mayor Byron W. Brown’s Summer Youth Program on its first day at BCAT on July 5. Over the next three days she worked with the students to develop imagery for the mural, which evaluates and compares the Harlem Renaissance and Buffalo’s own ongoing revitalization. Once the design and imagery was completed, students assisted with the mural’s completion throughout the following week.
An open house will be held at BCAT (1221 Main Street) on July 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, with a ceremony being held at 6:30 pm.
Other recent Public Art Initiative projects include Roberley Bell’s Locus Amoenusinstallation at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s muralNoodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installationWe Share A Dream, currently on view 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, on view through October 2016 at Canalside; Casey Riordan's Shark Girl; 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 in the newly constructed wing of 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 supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.