The Albright-Knox has spearheaded a new mural project in Allentown. Artists Mickey Harmon and Ari Moore have made their mark in the historic, quirky, bohemian, and art-friendly district. The work of art, applied to Q Bar at 44 Allen Street, also speaks for the neighborhood’s openness and inclusiveness when it comes to the LGBTQ community. Harmon, who is an active member of Buffalo’s LGBTQ+ scene, and Moore, recognized as Buffalo’s first prominently out Black trans woman, felt that it was important to create a high profile work that spoke out about their shared alt storyline.
Moore owned and operated the Inner City Art Studio before joining the Buffalo Police Department, where she served as an officer for twenty-five years before retiring.
“When Ari Moore approached me about the lack of queer murals in the city I was very excited to participate,” said Harmon. “I think now more than ever it is important, myself included, to be reminded of the ongoing and past struggles LGBTQ folx have endured and this mural highlights where we’ve come from and the continued struggle we face as a community. We both split 26 local and national activists and icons to be proudly displayed at 44 Allen as a reminder that Allentown was a hub of activism and should be remembered that way for years to come. With help from the Albright Knox and M&T bank, we’re able to erect this mural for our community in WNY and beyond.”
Mickey Harmon is an illustrator and graphic designer, co-owner of the Pine Apple Company gallery on Allen Street, and the chair of Exist, the event that annually commences Buffalo Pride weekend.
The mural pays tribute to the formations of LGBTQ in NY State, with a graphic hat tip to New York’s Stonewall Inn (site of the Stonewall riots of 1969). The activist figureheads featured on the wall include Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, Henry “Harry” Hay Jr., Hal Call, Frank O’Hara, William “Bill” H. Gardner, Don Licht, Dr. James “Jim” D. Haynes, Madeline Davis, Ann Hubbard, Sam Loliger, Don Behr, Mark Bozer, Mary Thomas, Bobbi Pepis, Alexis DeVeaux, Leslie Feinberg, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major-Griffin-Gracy, Tangarra, Dorian Corey, Vicky Vogue, Carol Speser, Peggy Ames, Conde Peoples, and Barbra Kavanaugh.
This mural would not have been possible without the help of Madeline Davis and the Buffalo LGBT History Project. It is generously supported by M&T Bank. The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.