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Award-winning artist unveils new public art installation in Niagara Falls

Jalen Law is hoping to spark conversation and connection with his work at the NFTA Metro Portage Road Transportation Center.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The inside of the NFTA-Metro Portage Road Transportation Center is home to an exciting new piece of public art, thanks to award-winning Western New York Artist Jalen Law. 

The mural and accompanying sculpture are not only visually pleasing, they're also interactive. People can send their reactions and feedback to a link through a QR code featured on the piece. 

The artists says he hopes it sparks conversation, connection, and pride in the Niagara Falls community, which he experienced firsthand as he worked on it over the last several months. 

"Based upon the feedback I received and a lot of the stories, a lot of the conversations that I had with a lot of the local residents who really depend on the public transportation in that area, it's been a very humbling experience," Law told 2 On Your Side. 

"So it definitely has let me know that what I have completed, it was done correctly, it was done with quality, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves as people, who consistently use public transportation and new residents, how it impacts them."

Law was also recently won the Artist of the Year at the Spark Awards through Art Services, Inc

"Jalen was selected this year really because of his work through the pandemic. 2020 was such a challenging year, even for most artists to just continue their regular work as they normally would," ASI Executive Director Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick told 2 On Your Side. 

"Jalen really took his work and integrated it to make sure that it reflected the community, that he was supporting others, whether it was other nonprofits or other families through the pandemic, and he used his artwork really as that vehicle to help the community through that time and now he's continuing his work through this year in other projects that he's doing."

Next up, Law will host a free community painting day at the Buffalo Central Terminal on August 7 as part of PLAY/GROUND 2021, through his nonprofit organization, Buffalo's Own, Inc. 

People will be able to paint the things they're grateful for onto five benches, which will eventually be permanently installed around the city for people to safely gather around. 

More information on "The Gathering Place" project is available here.