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Art Spoken Through Directional Language with Arrows and Skywriting

Arrows indicate direction toward something. Whether it be a promise land, a safer route or organizational purposes, arrows help to guide us. On August 19 at 6 p.m. (rain date August 20 at 6 p.m.), artist Kim Beck will direct a skywriter to make arrows in the sky, pointing to the US / Canada border as part of her project, There Here. These arrows will point to something of major significance, the history between the two countries and what purpose this border has served for them. Best seen between Canalside and the Peace Bridge, the arrows can be seen from almost anywhere in the Greater Buffalo area.

The US and Canada have affected each other in many ways over the years. Art Historian Toby Lawrence explains the impact of this border. “Sited within the city’s rich history and its position as a border town, the arrows rendered in the sky by a skywriting airplane draw attention to the physical and psychological space held by the border and relationships between the United States and Canada. Within, the arrows signify guidance and also allude to the history of Buffalo as the traditional lands of the Seneca people, as a migratory and economic gateway, and as a site of resistance and revolution through significant markers of history, such as the War of 1812 and the Underground Railroad that provided access to freedom for Black slaves into Canada,” Lawrence said.

These arrows drawn in the sky will also be photographed, to be on display at the UB Anderson Gallery as part of the exhibition Wanderlust: Actions, Traces, Journeys 1967-2017 September 7 thru December 31. Additionally, the photographs will be displayed on various billboards throughout the city using the arrows to create “directional language,” completing Beck’s project, There Here. Those watching the skywriting on August 19 can submit photographs on social media with the hashtag #ubskywriting and #ubwanderlust for a chance that their photo might be chosen by Beck to be used for one of her billboards.


For additional information and to request media images, please contact:

Rachel Adams | Senior Curator of Exhibitions | | 716.645.0570

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