Decade-old portraits of former county executives now on display

Oct 28, 2015

A series of paintings depicting six former Erie County executives is now on display at the Edward A. Rath County Office Building.

Current county executive Mark Poloncarz was joined by former executives Joel Giambra, Dennis Gorski, Ed Rutkowski, and a family member of the late John Tutuska Wednesday for the unveiling.

Mark Poloncarz was joined by former county executives for the unveiling Wednesday.
Credit Erie County Executive's Office

“It shows the proud history that we have in our county executives and the government that we have in Erie county,” said Poloncarz.

The paintings were finished in the early 2000s during Giambra’s term but were put away in storage at the Buffalo History Museum. Poloncarz says he and his staff had long heard rumors about the paintings and they were almost lost to history.

“We treasure public art, and it was public art that for many years people had forgotten about,” he said.

The artist, Mary Smith of Lake View, spoke at the unveiling, saying she enjoyed the creative process.

“I have it was really quite a journey and I loved every minute of it," Smith said.