BUFFALO, N.Y. — Allentown is set to be the home of a new mural as part of the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative.
"This is the LGBTQ historical mirror that's going up," Ari Moore said.
Moore is a long time Buffalo resident, artist, activist and archivist of the LGBTQ+ community in Buffalo and Western New York. Moore was also a teacher and retired from the Buffalo Police department.
She and artist Mickey Harmon have been commissioned to bring a new mural to life in Allentown as part of the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative.
"So for the LGBT community, it's important and essential that they know, their elders and forefathers and mothers and everyone in between," Moore said.
The mural depicts the faces of 26 people who have contributed in the LGBTQ movement, both nationally and locally.
"I've seen all these faces and all these names, but I really never knew their backgrounds," said Harmon. "The civil rights we enjoy today were hard-fought here in Buffalo and beyond.
Harmon went on to say he was excited that Moore asked him to be a part of the project.
Work began on the side of the Q Bar, located at 44 Allen Street, on Wednesday and is expected to take a week to finish, so long as Mother Nature cooperates.
PHOTOS: Public art in Allentown
Moore says the location of the mural is significant.
"It was always a meeting spot for the LGBTQ community.
The faces of national LGBTQ+ leaders such as Gertrude Stein and James Baldwin adorn the soon to be completed mural. But local leaders also are well represented.
"We have Matlin Davis, and Carol Speser and several others that now only were instrumental," Moore said.
This is the 23rd mural being painted in Western New York as part of the Albright-Knox public art initiative. In addition to the support from the Albright-Knox, it was also made possible by a donation from M&T Bank.
The artists believe that it will be a welcoming addition to the landscape of a vibrant Allentown.
"When you come down Allen Street, eastbound from Delaware, you'll be able to see the newly redesigned pride flag has been incorporated into the design," Harmon.
"Hopefully this is one of a number of murals that will be occurring on this and of Allen [Street].