The computer you got rid of last year or the hefty phone book you recycle immediately when it arrives on your porch might show up in a shop window this month, as part of an eco-friendly public art initiative being launched Friday.
The Green City Window project, according to Sharon Linstedt, a spokesperson for Mayor Byron W. Brown’s office, will transform the front windows of more than 20 Buffalo businesses into temporary art galleries for the next two weeks.
And it will feature newly commissioned artworks by local amateur and professional artists that employ “ ‘upcycled’ elements diverted from the waste stream” and converted into art projects.
The project will kick off with an event featuring an Earth Day address from Brown at 11 a.m. Friday in Hyatt’s art supply store at 910 Main St., where a project made from “upcycled” materials created by students from the Elmwood Village Charter School is on display.
The majority of the shops featured are in Allentown, with outlying stores such as the Pop In at 218 Grant St. and Thin Ice, a gift shop at 719 Elmwood Ave., also contributing to the project. The Green City Window Project was born in Edmonton, Alberta, where it has run for three years and drawn a great deal of attention and media coverage.
The project’s local organizer, Kelly Atkinson, characterized the two-week initiative as a win-win for artists looking for venues to display their work and businesses seeking increased foot traffic.
“We’re in this to better our community by encouraging Buffalonians to rethink junk, know their neighborhood artists, and shop local,” Atkinson said.
Other local artists who have contributed to the project include Ani Hoover, Marissa Lehner, Jamie Schmidt and Austin Laughlin.
Materials used for the project range from discarded plastic foam cups and old magazines to splintered wainscoting, PVC pipes and outdated or broken computer equipment.
A map of project locations is at tinyurl.com/GWCxBUF.