Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC), Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Ashford Hollow Foundation announced on Tuesday the unveiling of Flat Man on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Flat Man, a 30-foot steel sculpture is now located on the Greenway Nature Trail near the water’s edge. Prior to its new temporary digs at the Outer Harbor, Flat Man called the Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, NY ‘home’. In July, the sculpture was brought to the Essex Art Center on Buffalo’s West Side, where it was readied for its excursion to the waterfront.
“Flat Man now joins the wind sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe, Shark Girl and the Silent Poets at Canalside and the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator as a significant piece of public art on the waterfront,” said Robert Gioia, Chairman of ECHDC. “The Flat Man sculpture looks magnificent against the backdrop of Lake Erie. ECHDC is proud to give our guests an opportunity to experience art in the unique setting of the waterfront.”
The sculpture is that of Larry Griffis Jr. It stands almost three storeys high, and is an impressive addition to the Outer Harbor. It weights close to 3000 pounds, and features a heart in the middle of the piece (a message of love and inclusivity).
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “With Flat Man on the Outer Harbor, we have a great opportunity to expand the presence of public art in Buffalo and add an exciting new feature to our waterfront. Lighter, quicker, cheaper is the mantra for the Outer Harbor, and the installation of Flat Man helps to further this goal. This fun sculpture will help to draw people to the Outer Harbor, and add a unique element to our waterfront landscape.”
The special steel for Flat Man was designed donated by Bethlehem Steel – the Mayari R Cor-Ten rod steel is no longer produced today. Flat Man‘s first home was at Kissing Bridge, but was moved in 1966, when The Ashford Hollow Foundation purchased 450 acres in East Otto, New York. The worlk was part of a larger commission that included The Dancer, Round Man, Fecund Figures, Deserted, The Oracle and the Clown. All of the pieces were fabricated on Niagara Street prior to the purchase of the Essex Arts Center.
“Flat Man is a magnificent sight at its new location on the waterfront,” said Nila Griffis Lampman, Executive Director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation for the Visual and Performing Arts. “Larry Griffis would have been proud to see one of his works prominently displayed on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. I want to thank the visionaries at ECHDC and everyone on our talented team for making this project possible. ”
Flat Man will be on loan from Griffis for five years, and is viewable from all points surrounding Bell Slip.