2019 mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest event of its kind in the United States. An estimated 70,000 visitors from the United States and Canada explored more than 400 gardens in every corner of the city on Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28, 2019. To mark this milestone, the Albright-Knox partnered with Gardens Buffalo Niagara on a collaborative mural to leave a year-round reminder of this cherished weekend.
Fayle’s work focuses on the connection between people and the land, and this mural explores both individual connections to plants and the idea of plants in a garden representing people in a city. As part of Garden Walk Buffalo 2019, Fayle collaborated with community members to arrange local foliage on cyanotype paper that, when exposed to sunlight, preserves an object’s shape on a blue background. Each participant had the opportunity to make two prints of a plant of their choice; one print was for the participant to keep, and one was given to the artist to inform the mural’s content.
Garden Walk visitors had the opportunity to participate in the printing process at the event’s headquarters, 1 Symphony Circle, and at 5 Loaves Farm on West Avenue; these locations ensured ample participation and increased attendance at West Side gardens. The artist engaged with 300 to 500 people during this process. The archived prints will be used to create the graphic template for the mural at 244 Dewitt Street on Buffalo’s West Side.
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.”
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. 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 socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center.
Recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects include Eduardo Kobra’s mural Untitled, depicting Mark Twain and John T. Lewis, at 1188 Hertel Avenue; Augustina Droze's mural Green Kaleidoscope at 2303 Main Street; Logan Hicks's mural Walking Back Time on the Washington Street façade of 5 East Huron Street; Nicole Cherry's mural 1800s Bikes in Vines at 1330 Niagara Street; and Felipe Pantone’s mural Optichromie—BUF on the back of Town Ballroom. For a full list of Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects, visit www.albrightknox.org/akpublicart.
Funding for this project was provided by the Rich Family Foundation. The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.