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‘Breeze of Summer’ mural by artist from Buffalo to get Sanborn home

SANBORN – The Lewiston Council on the Arts will present a mural to the Sanborn Area Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Sanborn Fire Hall, 5811 Buffalo Ave.

The 4-by-8-foot mural, created by Buffalo artist William Y. Cooper, is titled “A Breeze of Summer.” It depicts a bright, sunny marketplace brimming with colorful local produce in a modernistic style.

The mural presentation will precede the society’s evening program featuring Dave and Elexis O’Donnell, regarding their Eastern Monarch Butterfly recovery and habitat conservation project.

The meeting is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Cooper was an artist-in-residence during the 2011 Olde Sanborn Days festival when he created the mural. He was one of three artists funded in part by a grant to the arts council from the National Endowment of the Arts.

The project was developed in partnership with the Rotary Club of Niagara County Central.

The Historical Society plans to display the mural in the Wieneke Barn, according to Gerry Treichler, society secretary. The barn contains many artifacts showcasing the area’s rich agricultural history, he said. It is part of the Farm Museum complex at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn, which will open for the season on April 15. It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and from 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

The goals of the national arts grant were to bring award-winning artists to underserved rural communities; allow audiences to actively engage with working artists; and provide noteworthy regional artists with residency opportunities that allowed them to create work and share with the audience, according to Irene M. Rykaszewski, executive director of the arts council.

In addition to Cooper, Native American illustrator Erwin Printup created a large mural depicting “Four Wind/Four Season,” and was joined by Brian Ruth, a respected pioneer in the field of chain saw performance art.

Cooper is an award-winning Buffalo Arts Studio painter, printmaker, muralist, writer and illustrator. His murals grace the TriMain Artspace and the Martin Luther King Multicultural Institute.

Born in Birmingham, Ala., he moved to Western New York in 1954 to pursue work and received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University at Buffalo in 1975. He has had several commissions for murals and has had more than 15 one-man shows in Western New York and Ghana.

“This grant offered us the opportunity to broaden the diversity of the event and bring in world-class artists to an underserved rural area,” Rykaszewski said. “William Y. Cooper has created a mural that is very beautiful, colorful and lovely, and the Sanborn Area Historical Society was thrilled to have it for their facility.”

Rykaszewski said the arts council has sponsored or co-sponsored a chain saw artist for the Olde Sanborn Days festival for the last six years.

“We’ve also been working to help boost the number of artist vendors for the event,” she said. “And we’ve had a nice, long partnership with this chapter of the Rotary Club.”

For more information, visit sanbornhistory.org.