The literary arts are alive and well in Buffalo. And to prove it, Just Buffalo Literary Center has announced the launch of “LIT CITY: On The Move,” a public art collaboration with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). LIT CITY: On The Move will promote the works of local writers, by installing over 50 poems at bus shelters, rail stations, and buses throughout the city.
The design for this project, which included entire bus wraps, was completed by Buffalo-based artist Julian Montague.
“Just Buffalo’s LIT CITY public art projects create opportunities to discover and connect with literature and our city’s writers in unexpected ways,” said Barbara Cole, Just Buffalo’s Artistic & Associate Executive Director. “After so much time marked by stillness and isolation, this collaboration sends words traveling—from bus stop to bus stop, from writer to reader—and offers moments of connection for Western New Yorkers out in the world again.”
If you want to get people appreciating the art of the poetic written word, then it’s important to take it to the streets, quite literally. And that’s exactly what Just Buffalo Literary Center is doing, via this public “art of the word” campaign. Not only will the works of prolific poets such as Lucille Clifton and Kazim Ali be featured, there will also be a number of poems by up and comers who were selected thanks to an open call this summer that asked writers to submit a poem responding to the prompt, “What moves you?”
Poem installation is currently underway; once completed, the poems will travel the city for the next 12 to 18 months.
“Words, like buses, are so commonplace that they can be underappreciated until someone comes along and gives them new life and new meaning,” said Michael Martineck, NFTA Superintendent of Communications and Advertising. “This project brings out the beauty of both.”
LIT CITY: On The Move is part of a series of public art projects by Just Buffalo collectively called LIT CITY.
Recent LIT CITY projects include a series of banners along Buffalo’s Literary Corridor on Washington St. honoring the region’s notable writers; the ongoing installation of spray-chalked poems on city sidewalks; and Lit City Voices, a series of video poems highlighting local writers.
“‘LIT CITY: On the Move’ is a great example of public art that truly enriches our community,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. “The NFTA is proud to partner in this program.”
Funding for this project was made possible through in-kind support from NFTA and an Arts Impact grant from the New York State Council on the Arts through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.
To learn more about “LIT CITY: On the Move” and read poems from the project, visit justbuffalo.org/lit-city-on-the-move.