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The Black Rock Heritage Trail War of 1812 Mural Project Under Way

          The third mural, The Erie Canal, was designed by Doreen DeBoth and will be painted by Jerome A.Mach. Activities along the towpath are recreated with buildings and mules pulling packet boats. A portrait of DeWitt Clinton who was govenor of New Your State and presided over its opening in October of 1825 will be included. The celebration lasted ten days as Governor Clinton traveled from Albany to Buffalo aboard a packet boat.


     De Both is an artist, teacher and director/owner of Artsphere Studio and Gallery on Amherst Street. Mach is deeply rooted in Black Rock as his family moved here in 1910 and operated their business, Black Rock Press on Peter Street. He has been a teacher at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, program director at Burchfield Art Center, and currently teaches privately at his own studio. He is also an accomplished portrait painter.


     To the right of the stairs Joe Tempski is portraying Railroads and Industry in the early 1800’s in Black Rock with a steam locomotive crossing the International Bridge during the evening hours. Industrial buildings represent the thriving manufacturing area of Black Rock’s history and railroads are an important part of its growth.


     Tempski is a self-taught artist who began painting at an early age, then left it to join the Marines. Later family responsibilities led him to a job with the county. His natural talent and ability as a painter won him one of the most difficult murals to paint.


     The theme of the fifth mural is Historical Architecture in Black Rock and will be designed and painted byRussell Mott when he completes the one he is doing on the War of 1812.
The Black Rock Heritage Trail War Of 1812 Mural Project Under Way


     The last mural’s theme is the Peace Garden painted by Cynthia Van Ens. The artist explains her idea for the mural on a personal level. After living in Black Rock for two years she has seen the growth of Black Rock, particularly this garden located at Dearborn and Hamilton Streets. Where it once was an empty lot, it is now a flourishing flower and vegetable garden that was created by the Dearborn Street Block Club for residents and visitors to enjoy. This reflects the community spirit and pride that resulted in beautifying the neighborhood. The Peace Tree signifies hope for the future, to create a peaceful community of all ethnicities living and working together. The man making repairs on the roof represent the rebuilding of a neighborhood that was beginning to crumble.


     Van Ens is an artist working on a Master’s degree in Art Education and is now seeking employment while substitute teaching.


     The community will be invited to paint on the two flanking walls. They will be designed by Cynthia Van Ens and Doreen De Both and will reflect life and activity in Black Rock today. Hours for painting will begin at 10 am – 3 pm on Saturday, Sept. 24 (rain date Oct. 1). Paint and brushes will be supplied so if you’d like to be a part of the historical mural, stop by and. have some fun. No experience needed!

by Doreen E. DeBoth


     If you’ve driven by the intersection of Tonawanda and Amherst Streets lately, you can’t miss the works in progress that are being painted in this highly visible area in the heart of Black Rock. After a jurried competition, five artists have been selected to design and paint historical murals.


     The Black Rock Heritage Trail War Of 1812 Mural Project Under Way
If you’ve driven by the intersection of Tonawanda and Amherst Streets lately, you can’t miss the works in progress that are being painted in this highly visible area in the heart of Black Rock. After a jurried competition, five artists have been selected to design and paint historical murals.


     Funded by a grant from the Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Commission and sponsored by the Historic Preservation Committee of the Black Rock/Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance, the murals will be used as a teaching/eductional tool for bus and walking tours, and will be shown in a documentary on the War of 1812 in Black Rock.


     The murals are arranged in a historical timeline and read from left to right. J. Tim Raymond was selected for his depiction of the Black Rock and Native Americans before the 1700's when the Black Rock was known as “Kistangoi” in the Iroquois language. It was 200' long and 300' wide, made of chert and limestone, and offered a safe harbor for the villagers. The Native Americans grew corn, squash and beans, referred to as the 'Three Sisters.” They are the physical and spiritual sustainers of life, and compose the main foodsupply for the Iroquois. They are painted in the lower left of the mural. Also incorporated into the mural is the profile apparition of Philip Conjockety for whom the Scajaquada Creek is named after.


     Besides his talents in designing and painting, Raymond has worked as an art therapist, lecturer, and teacher and currently writes for Artvoice.


The Black Rock Heritage Trail War Of 1812 Mural Project Under Way


     The War of 1812 mural is being painted by Russell Mott. Here the British bateaux have landed at the foot of Amherst Street, planning on torching the area of Black Rock and Buffalo (July11,1813).The American officer in the foreground on the right is ready to call in his troops to defend the area. Mott brilliantly included General Peter Porter’s house to add more meaning to the mural and to create historical dialogue.


     Mott is an experienced sign painter and artist/mural veteran who enjoys working larrge. He has painted murals in Florida, downtown Buffalo, in restaurants in North Tonawanda and Buffalo, at Buffalo Fire Departments and at Niagara Falls International Airport. Retired from his job working for the City of Buffalo’s Public Works Dept., he now has more time to accept portrait and landscape commissions.