BUFFALO, N.Y. — The next time you drive around the City of Buffalo, you may notice a series of new billboards that have recently been unveiled.
The billboards have statement such as #BlackHealthMatters on them along with accompanying pieces of artwork. The exhibition is the work of Stacey Robinson.
Robinson is an Arthur Schomburg fellow and MFA graduate from the University at Buffalo. He was already planning an exhibition in the fall with the CEPA Gallery before the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis and the protests over the last few months led the gallery to reimagine their plans.
According to a press release, the billboards are a way to highlight, "The realities of systemic and institutionalized racism, focusing the public's attention not only on the present moment and the issue of police violence but on the many challenges, contributions and assets of Black people in our communities. The text and image cohesion intends to speak directly to local governments and communities to create dialogue around the "isms" in our society with the hope of inspiring calls to action for lessening communal inequities."
In an interview with 2 On Your Side's Karys Belger, Robinson said he hopes the billboards will both educate and inspire the people who look at them.
"We have the ability to go global in a moment," he said. "We have the technology, we have our history. How that situates in thinking about how “we got next” we have what we need to visualize, plan, and actualize our tomorrow."
A map is available right now on the CEPA Gallery’s website with a location of all 12 billboards. The billboards will be on display until September 1.