In October 2011, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation placed the first sculpture of the Spirit of Buffalo Series on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). In keeping with the progressive spirit of the medical campus a contemporary sculpture was installed at the South/East corner of Ellicott & High Streets. The 12-foot tall sculpture is made of corten steel and was created by artist, Valeria Cray-Dihaan. Ellicott Street was simultaneously redeveloped along its full length through the Medical Campus as part of a federally funded streetscape improvement project. The story of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus illustrates the potential for development and expansion in a downtown Buffalo experiencing its own rebirth.
The project was featured in Buffalo Rising on November 9, 2011.
Some excerpts from the article:
“Our intention is to collaborate with organizations around the city to tell the story of Buffalo,” said Jake Schneider, Past President of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation. “We are thrilled to install the first piece on such a high visibility location on the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.”
For artist Valeria Cray-Dihaan, the BNMC site is all too important to the significance of her sculpture. “The tree is called the Spirit of Life, and I think it’s also about healing, because of where it is. People come here to be healed, and I hope this sculpture can give them a sense of that while they are here.” While insisting that “anything you make, whether it’s art, music or writing, you put your spirit into it, your energy,” Cray-Dihaan muses, “I hope I put good energy into this.”
SPIRIT OF LIFE TREE
ARTIST: Valeria Cray-Dihaan
LOCATION: 65 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
PROPERTY PARTNER: Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
DEDICATION DATE: October 2011