Change... one statue at a time.

Did you know that 90 percent of public statues are of men? That statement alone makes this week’s sculpture installation in the heart of the Elmwood village even more interesting. 

On Tuesday, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, the Buffalo Arts Commission and Nila Griffis, executive director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation welcomed a beautiful 10 foot tall statue of Janet Mock – who is a writer, producer, television host and transgender rights activist. Mock’s statue, created by internationally known artists Gillie and Marc Schattner, will reside at the corner of Bidwell Parkway and Elmwood for the next month or so. 



This is part of a global movement to balance gender and racial representation in public art and create tangible change one statue at a time. The Janet Mock statue is one of four tall bronze statues of inspirational women donated to Griffis Sculpture Park by the Schattners. The park received statues of Olympic athlete Gabby Douglas, astronaut, Tracy Dyson and author, Cheryl Strayed. The unifying mission of the artwork is to fill the world with inspiring public art that spreads messages of love, equality, conservation and hope.

The Douglas, Dyson and Strayed sculptures will be installed at Griffis Sculpture Park in mid-June. After residing at Bidwell Park, the Mock sculpture will then be permanently installed at the Essex Arts Center in Buffalo. Acquiring these sculptures are a nice win for Griffis Sculpture Park and Western New York. Gillie and Marc have been called “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s History” by the New York Times. Creating some of the world’s most innovative public sculptures, Gillie and Marc have re-defined what public art should be, spreading messages of love, equality, and conservation around the world. Their highly coveted sculptures and paintings can be seen in art galleries and public sites in over 250 cities. 

Lead image: Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Arts Commission Chair Catherine Gillespie and Griffis Sculpture Park Executive Director Nila Griffis review the Janet Mock sculpture.  

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