NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — During a dark time like this, something the world could use a little more of is beauty.
Local artist Jalen Law‘s mural of boxing legend Calvin “Pop” Porter is making western New York even more beautiful.
Jalen has his hands full when it comes to his artistry. When he’s not creating original artwork for private and corporate collectors, he’s focusing on education by curating social and emotional curriculums for children and young adults in the Buffalo public school system.
His goal is to bring healing and personal development to his community through his work.
“When people come across my work, it’s my hope that the work not only brings the community together, of course safely, but also that the colors that they see and the brush strokes that they see stimulate, almost, a therapeutic feeling within them, and gives them a sense of relief during this time,” he says.
That’s Jalen’s way of giving back, and so far, it’s working. Around June, he responded to an open call from the Niagara Falls Heritage Center, seeking artists to participate in a mural project.
After meeting with the committee, he decided to honor Calvin “Pop” Porter — a Niagara Falls boxer who was a member of the American Olympic team before turning pro in 1982. The Falls native fought 13 times as a professional and retired with a 10-3 record and seven knockout victories.
“And when they mentioned Calvin ‘Pop’ Porter, I was familiar with who he was, and I felt drawn to that,” Jalen says. “When I made it clear who he was, I was pretty direct that that’s who I want to work on. That’s the person I want to document for this project.”
Porter’s family was both touched and pleased with the final results of the masterpiece, which now sits on the east side of Main St.
As for Jalen, he encourages budding artists to remain passionate about pursuing their creativity, and reminds the younger generation to lean into their artistic gifts during this time of uncertainty.
“Keep drawing,” he says. “Do not compromise your art, and regardless of the circumstances you may experience along your journey of putting the pieces together to make your dream come true, always make it a point to do your best, and keep and maintain your faith in your talents.”
In a time that seems so bleak, it’s nice to see how the community can still come together and shine through the darkness.