WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (Sept. 1, 2020) – As a way to further complement the colorful garden within the Village Pocket Park – a space located between Village Hall, 5565 Main St., and the Williamsville Library – the Williamsville Beautification Committee in June commissioned an artist to create the community’s first mural.
The muralist, Chris Piontkowski, 34, of Buffalo, is painting a floral-themed mural – spanning 99 feet wide and 17 feet high – along a section of exterior brick wall on the eastern side of Village Hall. Piontkowski, who has been creating public art for three years, said he expects the mural to be completed by the end of September. Preliminary work on the mural began in late August.
A 2009 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and studied media art and animation. Public murals by Piontkowski can be viewed in Hertel Alley, along Elmwood Avenue, in Eggertsville and in Black Rock. Recently, he was involved in the “Works, From Home” project, which was sponsored by the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative and will soon be publicly displayed.
“His artistic style of floral and pollinator images is what our committee is looking for,” said Deb Habes, who led the Beautification’s Committee’s efforts in securing Piontkowski and the mural initiative. “We believe that based on his floral-themed murals painted in the City of Buffalo and Town of Amherst, he provides the natural aesthetics we believe would best complement the gardens in the Pocket Park.”
Habes said the Beautification Committee’s financial support for the mural was made possible through community donations collected during village garden walks from 2012 through 2019. Funds raised from basket raffles during the annual garden walks were earmarked for village garden improvements in the form of artistic projects, such as a mural.
“This mural is our gift to the community,” Habes said.
After Piontkowski was selected by the Beautification Committee to paint the mural, he created a rough sketch, which was then approved by both the committee and the Village Board.
The mural, Habes said, will serve to acknowledge the many native plants and flowers within the Pocket Park garden. She added that the artwork will also be an extension of the Beautification Committee’s work to educate the community on the importance of gardens.
“Part of our mission is to provide our vanishing pollinators, such as the endangered Monarch butterflies and honeybees, with the plants and flowers that they feed upon,” she said. “The wall mural will be a celebration of nature’s floral beauty.”
Piontkowski said the nearly 1,700-square-foot mural will be created using outdoor latex paint and spray paint.
“Most of the work will be done with spray paint, only relying on latex for priming and large, simple areas,” he said.
“I will be filming the entire process using a GoPro,” he said. “Most of the footage will be time-lapsed, and I’ll edit and post videos to my social media accounts as the project comes along.”
Habes added that the Beautification Committee is excited for Piontkowski’s mural to be a regional attraction within the Village of Williamsville.
“We are thankful to all of the sponsors who donated to the garden walk and our other programs throughout the years,” she said. “The mural will add to making the Village Pocket Park a pleasant space to relax for visitors and residents. It will be visible to motorists and pedestrians and will form a beautiful backdrop to our existing garden in the park.”