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GiGi's Playhouse mural celebrates people with Down syndrome

The mural by Julia Bottoms features butterflies painted by GiGi's Playhouse participants. The butterfly has become a symbol of Down syndrome awareness.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center has brought an outdoor mural to life.

The mural by Buffalo artist Julia Bottoms is on the wall of GiGi's Playhouse, which is directly across from the Anderson Gallery on Martha Jackson Place in Buffalo, and it celebrates individuals with Down syndrome.

The mural features butterflies painted by GiGi's Playhouse participants.

The butterfly symbolizes the many qualities admired in people with Down syndrome, and it has become a symbol of Down syndrome awareness.

“What better way to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month than to unveil a mural featuring a 15-foot-tall portrait of an person with Down syndrome releasing beautiful butterflies into the world?" Will Mondschein, board president of GiGi’s Playhouse Buffalo, said in a statement. 

"The butterfly represents the qualities most admired in people with Down syndrome, and ours were painted by the individuals who take part in our programs. The whimsical designs surrounding the butterflies show there can still be levity and unity in these divided times.” 

The mural announcement comes as more and more art continues to pop up across Western New York, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RELATED: The complete Guide 2 Public Art in Buffalo and Western New York