After paying a visit to the store Half and Half on Elmwood Avenue a few days ago, I happened upon some fallen leaves on the sidewalk. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the leaves were actually miniature works of art embedded in the concrete.
I spoke to Carly Battin, Executive Director of the Elmwood Village Association, who told me that the works of art were created by sculptor David Derner. The idea came about when owners of Half and Half learned that the section of sidewalk was going to be replaced during the Green Streets pilot project. They ended up contacting the artist in order to add a creative element to what is normally a rather pedestrian project.
Carly also told me that the bronze leaves in the sidewalk can also be found outside of Buffalo Seminary, as well as in the railing at Caffe Aroma. You can see David as he places the leaves into the sidewalk (see below). It is simple, thoughtful additions such as this that can make a neighborhood great.
At the end of the day, this is not expensive either – it’s a welcome change to a dull streetscape and should be replicated in other parts of the city – in various forms. So simple if you think about it. All it takes is some creative people getting together to transform an everyday element into something thought provoking.
In this case the work is subtle, yet captivating.