Pan Am Public Art: Art Across Borders Artist

Nancy Gabriel

Project: One More River to Cross, sculpture arch with three figures, cement, clay and ceramic tiles, 9-ft. high x 7-ft. wide x 1-ft. deep

Site 5: LaSalle Park

"One More River to Cross" was a frequently quoted motivational expression used by slaves on encountering the Niagara River—the last major obstacle along the Underground Railroad on their way to freedom in Canada. A cement-formed arch symbolizes the obstacle that is also the form of passage. Two women on the arch are together, one struggling and the other helping her. A third female figure, having reached her destination, sits in repose, contented, at least for the moment, with her accomplishments. The sculpture is covered with handmade high-fired ceramic tiles.

Nancy Gabriel studied ceramic design at Buffalo State College from 1984-87. Since the 1980s, she has produced public installations in the area: Mel Ott Little League Pavilion, Amherst and Cybele’s Café, Buffalo (2000); Spot Coffee, New World Record, and Quill’s Apothecary (1999), Fiddlehead’s (1996), Café Cosmos (1995), Nietzsche’s Night Club (1994), and Niagara County Community College (1983-84). She has also produced work for 13 private commissions in Buffalo, Amherst, New York, Lewiston, and Kenmore.

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