Jalen Law officially revealed his completed mural inside the waiting area of the NFTA-Metro Portage Road Transportation Center at a press conference hosted by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA-Metro) and the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (NFNHA) on Wednesday.
Law said his intentions for the mural included creating a piece of artwork that would resonate with all of the different people of the Niagara Falls community and empower them to make their voices heard. The piece includes an interactive element: a QR code viewers can scan to provide feedback.
“Creating this mural has been an interesting journey because art has such a way of sparking conversations,” Law said. “People who saw me working on it were thrown off at first but excited to see art being made in such a large capacity. I had a lot of conversations with visitors about art and it almost always turned into something deeper. It was a great opportunity to connect with the community.”
Saladin Allah, the project coordinator for the NF Murals project, has been working alongside Law to ensure the mural aligns with the project’s mission.
“Throughout the entire process of installing this mural, we’ve seen how excited the community is for it to come together,” Allah said. “And people become even more excited when we tell them about the feedback portion of the piece. They feel like this is art that belongs to them, that will help their voices be listened to. It’s been very powerful for us.”
The Portage Road Transportation Center sees over 2,000 boardings per week, to and from Buffalo and within Niagara Falls and Niagara County. The location of the mural inside this site was strategic, as it allows many different people – from tourists to locals – to view it on a daily basis.
“The mural has truly transformed this waiting area into a space that is welcoming and inviting,” said Tom George, NFTA’s director of public transportation. “Now, it’s not even just people looking for transportation who are stopping in – it’s people who are just walking or driving by, and they see these beautiful pops of color and want to know more. And for the people who use the NFTA-Metro services, the piece adds an additional positive element to their experience. Hopefully each day they visit, they will take something new from it.”
At the press conference, Law was joined by several community leaders who shared more information about the project and revealed the finalized artwork.
“It’s truly about bringing the community together through art and, as we’ve seen through the journey of implementing this mural, the piece is already beginning to spark conversation," said Ally Spongr, project director of NFNHA. "We’re looking forward to seeing the outcomes as people begin using the QR code to submit their feedback and visions for the community.”
The Portage Road Transportation Center is located at 1162 Portage Road, Niagara Falls. Visit nfmurals.org/my-vision/.