The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has announced the lead artist of a mural project at McKinley High School as a part of the Jesse Kregal Pathway Improvement Project.
The committee has selected Augustina Droze of Los Angeles, California to lead the project after a true national search. Ms. Droze was selected based on her extensive national experience in mural painting, presentation, and proposal.
“We liked Augustina’s proposal because her mural will tell a very compelling story about Olmsted and his impact on our region,” said Thomas Herrera-Mishler, CEO and President of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “Her painting style is beautiful with excellent use of color and form. She has had extensive experience in large scale mural painting across the nation, working with volunteers to create master works of art.”
Droze will be working with students from McKinley High School, the Buffalo State College Fine Arts program, and any members of the community who want to help. The massive work of art will be about 210 feet long and students will work with Olmsted landscape architects and the artist to develop a complementary landscape component to the project.
Droze wants the focus of the mural to celebrate the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted. “The Vision of Olmsted” will be a narrative piece depicting the life and work of Olmsted through landscapes of his selected projects and nature scenes.
“I applied to the McKinley High School mural project because I thought it is an exciting project with an important story to tell. As a muralist I am interested in painting mostly nature based scenes,” Droze said. “The theme of this project was interesting to me because of the emphasis on the natural world and the work of Olmsted. I am very excited to begin working on this mural. It will be a wonderful experience to transform the wall and to experience life in Buffalo while I am in town.”
Many believe that the summer-long project will be an important addition to the community’s collection of public art and will be an attraction for those who are near the Scajaquada Trail/Jesse Kregal Pathway.
There are other landscape improvements planned for this summer including new play equipment at the Peter Street Playground, a new creek-side overlook, and a general upgrade of the trail from the Niagara River to Delaware Park’s Point of Meadow shelter.