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commUNITY spotlight: The artist behind the new Harriet Tubman mural in Buffalo

Gino Morrow

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gino Morrow may live in Dallas, but he is Buffalo born and proud of it. 

He was commissioned to paint the Harriet Tubman mural at the foot of Ferry in Buffalo.

"It's such a large canvas," he said about the job, which presented challenges. "To work on the expressway the overpass, the wall, and so I spent a lot of time meditating on the pure size of it.

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"But the things you could not anticipate is how would I respond to being 14-feet up on a scaffold on unleveled ground, and then the spiders, oh my goodness," Morrow said in an interview for commUNITY on Channel 2.

His mural was inspired by Academy Award winning artist Wesley Wofford.

"My focus for the concept was this sort of juxtaposition or duality, this constant contrast taking place," he said. "What you see in the eyes of a child versus what you see in Harriet's eyes, is a child in fear of trusting, because as a child you trust the adult you're with. Then you have Harriet who is experienced and full of determination."

Credit: Claudine Ewing

Morrow discusses the details of the mural.

"If you were to take a map of the United States and lay it directly behind a thunderbolt or the lightening bolt, it is actually the path of the Underground Railroad from the south on through to Canada, so I actually pulled that symbology off of a map and tied it in as a source of nature in the form of a lightening bolt," he said.

Morrow is a graduate of the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts and SUNY Fredonia.

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