For artist Louise Jones, incorporating floral motifs pulled from the local landscape into her murals is a way to address questions of how we experience what is specific to a place. Based on conversations with horticulturists and her own research, Jones identified a number of plants native to Western New York as the basis for Wildflowers for Buffalo; these include (from top left to bottom): red clover, coneflower (echinacea), burdock, chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, thistle, lamb’s quarters, swamp rose, and yarrow.
Jones was drawn to these species not only for their connection to the Buffalo region but also for their role in herbal medicine traditions as aides for bringing about well-being. Later, she supplemented this selection of flora with what she called “special cultivated guests”: strawflowers and pussy willows that she encountered thriving on a farm in Eden. At 80 feet tall by 160 feet wide, Wildflowers for Buffalo is the largest mural of Jones’s career and the largest the largest AK Public Art Initiative mural to date.