190815 Mural Art 1

 Buffalo artist Muhammad Zaman worked on his mural, a mingling of English and Bangla languages, of a direct quote by Martain Luther King that reads, "The time is always righ to do what is right." The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area is getting a facelift in the form of murals thanks to the New York State Health Foundation, as part of the "The Walk to Freedom: A Heritage Walking Trail for Niagara Falls" grant. Hi Jim, Thanks for coming out today to take photos of the artists beginning the new murals on Main St and Depot Ave! Per your request, I have put together further information about the project and the artists who you photographed. We will have a press release and full press kit out to media early next week. Project Title: Heritage Arts Murals (Main St & Depot Ave) Project Organization: Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Grant-Funded By: New York State Health Foundation, as part of the "The Walk to Freedom: A Heritage Walking Trail for Niagara Falls" grant. Background The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, in partnership with the New York State Health Foundation, is embarking on a mural project in the North End of Niagara Falls, starting on Main Street and Depot Avenue, that will help build an appreciation for our history and community in this city with so many stories to tell. In the neighboring Highland Community, many people are the most recent in a long line of black residents whose presence in Niagara Falls made it one of the most important places of courage and resistance to oppression in the United States from the time of the Underground Railroad to today. These stories of heroism are documented and told at the adjacent Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. The Heritage Arts Mural Project will continue to share these stories and others as it relates to theme of freedom, and specifically what freedom means to the residents of Niagara Falls. Ten local artists from Niagara Falls and Buffalo will be creating ten murals in August and September 2019. Purpose The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area’s Heritage Arts Mural Project will unite artists with the community in a collaborative process, rooted in historical and contemporary themes, that will transform our public spaces and inspire our local citizens. Through our work, we take a creative approach to projects with the objective to foster pride of place and support for our community. We believe that art creates change, transforming public spaces and individual lives by improving the neighborhoods we live and work in, and by convening messages of hope, empathy, compassion, and social justice. The Mural Project will encourage visitors to extend their stay in the City of Niagara Falls and assist in the long-term revitalization efforts of the Highland Community of Niagara Falls. Artists Who Were Photographed Muhammad Zaman Muhammad Zaman is an Urban Artist specializing in Arabic calligraphy. Over the years he has developed a personal style that incorporates three different languages that make up his identity: English since he lives in the USA, the Bengali, the language of his fatherland, and Arabic which is the language of the religion he belongs to. Muhammad came to the USA when he was eleven years old and settled on the east side of Buffalo. Natalia Suska Natalia Suska is a Niagara Falls artist who graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 2018 and is now attending Georgetown University for Mathematics. Natalia has been an artist all of her life and received a 5 on the AP Studio Art exam at 16 years old. She currently works on abstract portraits, has experience designing flyers and advertisements, and has had artworks displayed in Daemen College, the University at Buffalo, and the Albright-Knox Art Museum (2016-2017). Edreys Wajed (not photographed but his art was) Edreys Wajed is a Buffalo based creative entrepreneur. He has transitioned through several crafts and artistic media throughout his life, working as a visual artist, jewelry maker, craftsman, musician, graphic designer and educator. Though he finds inspiration for his visual work in his day to day observations and intuitive temperament, his biggest inspiration “is to actually be an inspiration. I want to be an inspiration to others through my thoughts, words and actions.” Contact Ally Spongr, Project Manager 716-444-1510, ally@discoverniagara.org Facebook: Niagara Falls Murals Instagram: @nfmurals If you need anything additional, please let me know! Best, Ally -- Ally Spongr Project Director Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Interim Museum Director Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center 716.300.8477