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“Sculpture Alley” Debuts on Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail in Springville

Mary Brummer

Aug 4, 2023

Springville trail and art supporters celebrate new works in Sculpture Alley.

Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail (ECRT) is showing its artistic side in the Village of Springville. In partnership with Springville Center for the Arts, ECRT commissioned Bennington sculptor J. Brian Pfeiffer of A Sculptor’s Soul studio to create the inaugural two sculptures for “Sculpture Alley”, a section of ECRT just north of Franklin Street behind the Peerless Winsmith building. “Incorporating materials reflecting this area’s industrial past into art along this section of the trail is a creative way to enhance the outdoor experience here,” said Seth Wochensky, Executive Director of Springville Center for the Arts, and originator of the “Sculpture Alley” concept in Springville. “The goal of ‘Sculpture Alley’ is to bring interactive art into an outdoor environment that is accessible to all,” said Mary Brummer, President of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail. ECRT is a multi-use recreational trail on the corridor of the former Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad. The trail is open to all free of charge 365 days per year from dawn until dusk.

J. Brian Pfeiffer has created two sculptures using his favored medium of poured concrete over a rebar frame. The first sculpture is an abstract figure of a traveler sitting on a platform next to a suitcase which holds a spinnable sphere painted as a world map. The figure is positioned as if peering down the tracks awaiting the arrival of a train. The second sculpture is a tall form with a spherical base from which emerges a straight shaft topped by a colorful disc, echoing historic railroad signaling gear. The art pieces are mounted on either side of the trail some distance from each other, so they may be appreciated as the trail user approaches and passes each one. The art is meant to be engaging and interactive, as people are invited to linger with the works and to touch them.

Three people stand adjacent to a concrete sculpture created by J. Brian Pfeiffer that was recently installed on the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail in Springville,
ECRT President Mary Brummer, Sculptor J. Brian Pfeiffer, and SCA Executive Director Seth Wochensky celebrate new art installed in 'Sculpture Alley' along Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail in Springville."

The two sculptures were installed at the “Sculpture Alley” site in late July and were celebrated on August 4 as members of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail and Springville Center for the Arts gathered to thank J. Brian Pfeiffer for the creativity and sparkle that these works bring to the trail. As children climbed on one of the sculptures, Brian Pfeiffer noted, “To have an adult contemplate my artwork is wonderful, but to have a child run up to one of my sculptures and make it part of their adventure in that moment - now that is the ultimate reward!”

This project is made possible with funds from the Expanding Access to Arts Funding in WNY, a regrant program of New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Cullen Foundation.

People gathered around a new sculputre of a man with a briefcase on the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail in Springville, NY.
"Springville art supporters and members of Springville Center for the Arts gather around one of the newly installed sculptures along Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail’s “Sculpture Alley” in the Village of Springville on August 4."

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