As a way to further promote the bonds of friendship between Buffalo and its sister city, Kanazawa, Japan, Debbie Kanarek (Japan Culture Center of WNY) and her team are preparing to roll out a new 14′ x 38′ mural in Downtown Buffalo, designed by Kristin Brandt.
“The mural is for the 60th anniversary of the sister cities,” said Debbie. “Buffalo and Kanazawa were one of the first sister cities, and have been around since 1962. The mural represents that relationship.”
While the Japan Culture Center of WNY does participate in the Cherry Blossom Festival each year, the mural will help to further raise awareness that Buffalo has close ties to Kanazawa.
“The Japanese Garden was a gift from Kanazawa,” said Debbie, who lived in Japan for two years in the 1970s, where she taught English. “We help to protect it, and make people aware of it.”
It was Debbie’s idea for the sister city “friendship” mural, which her organization readily embraced.
The new mural – to be painted by artist Kristin Brandt – will be a welcome addition to the downtown landscape. With the help of a number of other seasoned artists, the public work of art will be painted on the side of one of developer Roger Trettel’s buildings at 290 Ellicott (the LifeStorage building – near Louise “Ouizi” Jones’s floral mural on the Sinclair).
The significance of the design of the mural is of great interest. According to Debbie, the design of the kimono depicted in the mural is that of Mr Yuusui, whose daughter is a Broadway actress – she recently visited Buffalo when touring with My Fair Lady.
“She brought postcards of her father’s work,” Debbie explained. “We felt that one of his kimono designs would be a good idea for the mural.”
Now, there is an effort underway to raise funds to purchase the paint and pay the artists. Below you will find ways to support the beautification effort, which speaks of “friendship” between two distant cities that have shared a lot in common over the last 6 decades.
To make a donation, click here.