Published September 9, 2021
A ribbon-cutting this week in Knox Quad celebrated the first in a series of new public art projects on campus, this one displaying UB’s pride and support for the LGBTQ community.
The artwork, “Progress Pride Paths,” was completed last month and includes quadrangular shapes of 11 different colors painted along the V-shaped sidewalk enclosed by Knox Hall, Bell Hall and the Student Union.
The art is a “contemporized iteration” of the celebrated rainbow crosswalk that was painted along Mary Talbert Way before that was replaced by this new installation, said Benjamin Fabian, assistant director for student support, Student Conduct and Advocacy, and president of the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association.
“While a six-color rainbow has usually been recognized as representative of our community, the integration of light blue, pink and white for trans folks, and black and brown for people of color is a nod to the expansive experiences of queer people,” Fabian said.
“This art elevates identity intersectionality and challenges us to recognize privilege and equity at the same time we celebrate all that is beautiful about queerness.”
Fabian was among those on hand Wednesday who celebrated a ribbon-cutting dedicating the new Contemplative Sites project.
The goal of the project, launched by the Office of the Provost, is to showcase art that celebrates both the history and diversity of UB in spaces that provide for contemplation on issues that resonate with the campus community.
Progress Pride Paths is a way to continue UB’s long tradition of recognizing and supporting the LGBTQ+ campus community, said Provost A. Scott Weber.
The provost noted that that first gay and lesbian student group at UB, the Gay Liberation Front, was created in 1970 and was one of the earliest to form outside of New York City.
“Certainly at UB, we are dedicated to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment where all members of our university community feel safe and respected, and where people of different backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs can collaborate and flourish,” he said.
Brian F. Hamluk, vice president for student life, said that as a relatively new member of the UB community, “I continue to learn more about what makes UB special: our values, our priorities, our people.
“Progress Pride Paths provides a visual intersection of these three topics: the value that we place on diversity; the priority we place on inclusiveness; and the celebration of what is the unique fabric of our community,” he said.
Progress Pride Paths will be on display through July 1.