In an effort to contribute to the City of Buffalo’s current resurgence, to enhance the community’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination and to inspire and inform our citizens and visitors of the rich traditions and potential of Buffalo, NY, the BRF has committed its resources to spearheading the placement of five (5) thematic sculptural art installations throughout the downtown area. These sculptures salute Buffalo in both traditional and contemporary art forms.

These sculptures are intended to celebrate the “Spirit of Buffalo” in both traditional (realistic) and contemporary (abstract) art forms.

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

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 TRANSPORTATION
ARTIST: Sarah Fonzi
LOCATION: 149 Swan St., Buffalo, NY 14203
PROPERTY PARTNER: Swan Street Buffalo, LLC
DEDICATION DATE: August 2014

In 2014, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation placed its second sculpture of the Spirit of Buffalo Series at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Swan Street. This sculptural art piece was created by Buffalo artist Sarah Fonzi, and stands 16 feet tall, made completely of stainless steel. The structure is of a tree trunk flowering into a bicycle, symbolizing the sustainable nature of the bicycle as a growing means of self-propelled, urban transportation. Ms. Fonzi, a local artist, has exhibited her acclaimed sculptures nationally and internationally. The Spirit of Transportation pays homage to the history of the bicycle industry that flourished in Buffalo and led to the city’s growth as an automobile-manufacturing center during the dawn of the twentieth century.

SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP
ARTIST: Tobias Mendez
LOCATION: 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14202
PROPERTY PARTNER: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
DEDICATION DATE: October 2015

On Tuesday, October 27, 2015 the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation’s third art sculpture was dedicated. The Spirit of Leadership was dedicated at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site on Delaware Avenue. The dedication date also marked President Roosevelt’s 157th birthday. The life-size monument of the 26th President represents “The Spirit of Leadership,” the third of a five-part series. The statue stands looking over Delaware Ave creates a landmark to now easily identify the Theodore Roosevelt Site. The sculpture is a creation of nationally recognized artist Toby Mendez

Western New York Heritage Article | Winter 2016 | TR Returns to the Wilcox Mansion – In Bronze

Jake Schneider Presenting Spirit of Leadership

“SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY” ARRIVES AT HOTEL HENRY’S DOORSTEP

BUFFALO RENAISSANCE FOUNDATION BRINGS THE NEWEST “SPIRIT OF BUFFALO” SCULPTURE TO THE RICHARDSON OLMSTED CAMPUS, A NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED HISTORIC REHABILITATION PROJECT

The Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, the Richardson Center Corporation, Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, and the (Lipsey) Buffalo Architecture Center collaborated on the installation of a contemporary sculptural artwork on the newly renovated Richardson Olmsted Complex.

The North Entrance to the Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center welcomed the new piece of art as part of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Sculptural Art Initiative’s “Spirit of Buffalo” sculpture series in January 2018.

The “Spirit of Community” by Dániel Shafer features three circles of Unity, continuously looping to celebrate the three centuries of our City of Buffalo, telling a story about our past, present, and future. The soft, feminine lines contrast from the strong, masculine lines of H.H. Richardson’s design with a flowing pattern provoking contemplation by visitors and travelers. The open shape compliments the Towers Building without obstruction, welcoming visitors with an inviting embrace. “Spirit of Community” was executed in Corten weathering steel and stands 22 feet in diameter. Dániel works with bronze and mixed media sculpture, questioning the dominance of accepted norms and perceived societal roles in shaping people’s behavior and freedom.

“The mission of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, to engage the community through positive change and progress, aligns perfectly with Hotel Henry’s mission of hospitality and neighborhood collaboration. We couldn’t be more grateful to BRF for this opportunity to continue our shared commitment to local art and community celebration.” – Geno Principe, Partner, Hotel Henry

SPIRIT OF INSPIRATION
ARTIST: Okunola Jeyfous
LOCATION: One Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
PROPERTY PARTNER: Just Buffalo Literary & The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
DEDICATION DATE: Coming in 2020

Our Spirit of Buffalo Sculptural Art series is in the process of finalizing its fifth and final sculpture with a piece scheduled for the grounds of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The installation is being completed in concert with our partner, Just Buffalo Literary. The final piece, named the Spirit of Inspiration will be the work of Okunola Jeyfous, a Nigerian-American neuroscientist and photography enthusiast based in Chicago.

The artwork will adorn the new children’s reading park that has recently opened on the south-east corner of the Central Library’s grounds.

What’s on the Horizon?

Our Spirit of Buffalo Sculptural Art series is in the process of finalizing its fifth and final sculpture with a piece scheduled for the grounds of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The installation is being completed in concert with our partner, Just Buffalo Literary. The final piece, named the Spirit of Inspiration will be the work of Okunola Jeyfous, a Nigerian-American neuroscientist and photography enthusiast based in Chicago.

The artwork will adorn the new children’s reading park that has recently opened on the south-east corner of the Central Library’s grounds.