Buffalo through the eyes of public school teens

Dec 19, 2013

Brand new artwork created by some Buffalo public high school students has been unveiled at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Ten original paintings are now inside the terminal to greet holiday travelers.

Student painting of Peace Bridge at night.
Credit Photo provided by Delware North Companies

Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts students pose with their paintings at Buffalo Airport.
Credit Photo provided by Delware North Companies

"We were given the criteria of having these paintings are about Buffalo through the eyes of a teenager," said Elizabeth Larrabee, 12th grade teacher at The Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts.

Eleventh and 12th graders participated in making the paintings for the Airport in just three weeks.  Delaware North Companies reached out to the school and supplied students with paint, brushes and canvases to make their creations. Each student interpreted the Buffalo theme in their very own way.

Student painting of Buffalo's snowy weather.
Credit Photo provided by Delware North Companies

"I had one student who took it very literally, and she wanted to have a person looking through binoculars," said Larrabee.  "I had another student -- who was really struggling with coming up with an idea.  He came up with actually this beautiful piece -- of the snow coming down."

Other students created a painting of Buffalo's Peace Bridge lit up at night. 

Another painting features clouds with Buffalo land marks. The paintings are thoughtful, bright and colorful.

Larrabee tells WBFO News students came up with a wide variety of images. She was surprised by their detailed work.  

"It was a little nerve racking taking on a project like this and having a really short timeline," said Larrabee. "The kids really took off with it and I think, really rose to the challenge."

The student artwork is located after the security checkpoint in the Airport hanging on a former construction wall, now turned into a mini art gallery. 

Both Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services and the NFTA are helping the school with a fundraising effort encouraging business and members of the community to purchase the art.  Money raised with all the students to travel to New York City in the spring where students attend art galleries and theater in the Big Apple.  

Delaware North and the NFTA are challenging local companies to donate $200 or more to the art department at the school. Click on the link to for more information.

Larrabee said students were "thrilled" to participate and have a chance to be a "real working artists."