The River Rock Community Coalition (RRCC) in partnership with Hearts for the Homeless® has unveiled the newest additions to Buffalo’s public art movement. Adorning the Hearts Thrift Store building, located at 890 Tonawanda Street, are two new murals created by local artist Vinny Alejandro. Alejandro, who honed his craft via street art in the city’s First Ward neighborhood, now has an impressive catalog of public art on display throughout Western New York and beyond.
The first of these murals is “Welcome to Riverside”, a postcard style mural on the front of the building. This mural features a beautiful Niagara River sunset over Strawberry Island, as well as a lighthouse and a street sign depicting the corner of Tonawanda & Ontario Streets, both landmarks in the Riverside neighborhood.
The second mural, “LoveU Buffalo“, stretches the entirety of the building’s wall down Riverside Ave, featuring a stained-glass look, while resonating with the vibrant colors and positive messages of the “LoveU Buffalo” movement. The “LoveU Buffalo” movement aims to promote self-love and bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. RRCC President and founder George A. Fitzpatrick was inspired to start the “LoveU Buffalo” movement by his daughter Gabriella. “There are so many people in our society that struggle daily with depression and other mental health issues, especially our veterans and our youth. We just want this movement to inspire positivity, and let others know that they are not alone; there is help available, and that it’s ok to not be ok,” said Fitzpatrick.
Make this your next stop on your mural tour in Buffalo.
Hearts for the Homeless® has occupied the building at 890 Tonawanda Street since 1997. It is the home of the Hearts Commercial Kitchen, corporate offices, the Hearts Thrift Store, and a food storage warehouse that supports a number of food pantry programs, and other food security initiatives. The space has also been used as a location for an after school kids program which impacted the lives of dozens of Riverside’s youth in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Additionally, it was used as an incubator to launch the clothing donation bin program which has since moved to an expansive warehouse location.
While visiting the public art and enjoying the two murals, please consider shopping in the Hearts Thrift Store as all proceeds go back to fund the various outreach programs and initiatives of Hearts For The Homeless®.