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Maya Hayuk’s ‘The Tree of Y’

D’Youville’s new Health Professions HUB is the latest recipient of a large scale mural. The mural by artist Maya Hayuk (American, born 1969) titled ‘The Tree of Y,’ is a whopping 96 x 60 feet, and does a great job of adding a significant colorful splash to the recently opened HUB building. The work of art was unveiled last night, along with a timelapse video that shows the mural being created over the course of a week.

I’m a fan of this growing trend of incorporating public art into the development concepts, rather than as the result of afterthoughts.

For Hayuk, who is a member of the Barnstormers collective and the Cinder Arts Collective, her signature style, as described by the Albright-Knox, “… is composed of elaborate abstractions that are made up of intricate, symmetrical combinations of color formed by crisscrossed and overlapped diagonals with different tones and perspectives. Her lively paint application, vibrant drippings, and dynamic movements express joyous energy. Hayuk weaves visual information from her immediate surroundings into her elaborate abstractions, using advanced painting practices to create an engaging mix of references to local culture.”

Hayuk’s mural works can be found all over the world. She has also been commissioned to create album covers, videos, stage sets, etc., for the likes of groups that include TV on the Radio, The Flaming Lips, Devendra Banhart, Seun Kuti, Prefuse 73, Awesome Color, Oakley Hall, Home, Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and The Beastie Boys, among others.

Currently, Hayuk has a studio in Brooklyn, New York.

This latest work – mineral paint on compressed concrete panels – was commissioned by the Albright-Knox, and joins numerous other iconic murals throughout the city of Buffalo.

‘The Tree of Y’ is the third mural to be painted on the D’Youville campus as of late. In 2020, artist Maxx Moses painted ‘Black Matter is Life‘ on a building at the corner of Porter Avenue and Fargo. In 2019, local artist Casey Milbrand painted a sidewalk mural at that same location, titled ‘As Is.’ 

Needless to say, things are certainly a lot cheerier around the D’Youville campus these days, thanks to the amplification of art.

Hayuk earned a BFA in Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has studied at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Canada; the Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University, Odessa, Ukraine; and at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME.

The mural is made possible through a generous donation from former Trustee (served from 1992 – 2001) Philip A. Perna and his sisters Linda Perna Ball and Mary Jo Perna, in honor of their late mother Phyllis Esposito Perna, who graduated from D’Youville in 1942 with a BA in Sociology.

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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