Buffalo Renaissance Foundation and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Announce Dedication of Public Art

For immediate release Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Buffalo Renaissance Foundation and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Announce Dedication of Public Art

Spirit of Life Tree First in a Series of City-Wide Installations

WHAT: The dedication of the contemporary sculptural art installation, Spirit of Life Tree, on the southeast corner of High and Ellicott Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. In an effort to contribute to the City of Buffalo’s growth as a cultural tourist destination, and inform our citizens and visitors of the rich traditions and potential of Buffalo, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Downtown Sculptural Art Initiative intends to place five thematic sculptural art installations throughout the downtown over the next five years. These sculptures will celebrate the “Spirit of Buffalo” in both traditional and contemporary art forms.

The Spirit of Life Tree is eight feet high. It is made of Corten metal, which ages and gets stronger with time.

“Our intention is to collaborate with organizations around the city to tell the story of Buffalo,” said Jake Schneider, President of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation. “This is the first installation of permanent public art in the city since the 1980s. We are thrilled install the first piece on such a high visibility location on the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.”

“The sculpture is titled Spirit of Life. A spirit of hope lives in the people who travel here to this medical campus seeking a better quality of life and ways that this community can strengthen them,” said artist Valeria Cray-Dihaan. “This tree represents their spirit, and life, and the strength of the people to be healed whether it is emotionally or physically or both. Made of steel, the tree is unmoved by doubt or disbelief. It will endure all the seasons.”

Speakers at the dedication include:

Jake Schneider, President, Buffalo Renaissance Foundation

Valeria Cray-Dihaan, Artist

Thomas R. Beecher, Jr., Chair Emeritus, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

WHEN:                 Friday, November 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:              Southeast corner of High & Ellicott Streets

On the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

(Parking available in the parking garage at the corner of Ellicott and Goodrich. Enter on Ellicott, Goodrich, or North Streets.)

For more information, contact Kari Bonaro, BNMC at kbonaro@bnmc-old.local, 716.218.7157 or 202.904.7034

About the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation

Since 1981, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation has had only one direction in mind for Western New York. Comprised of a group of local business leaders who value Buffalo as the ideal place to live, work and raise a family, our mission is to help the community move forward for generations to come.

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is a consortium of the region’s premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions, all located on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo, New York. The BNMC is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship. BNMC member institutions are the University at Buffalo, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Olmsted Center for Sight, Upstate New York Transplant Services, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.

The BNMC has:

  • 4.5 million square feet of existing research, clinical, and support space today
  • More than two million square feet currently or soon to be under construction, equaling an investment of $500 million in public and private funding.
  • 8,500 people working on the Medical Campus today, a number that will rise to nearly 12,000 in the next few years.
  • More than one million patients and visitors annually.
  • Nine major institutions and more than 40 public and private life sciences companies are located on the BNMC.