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Newspaper Reader On Niagara

I still remember the first time that my mom pointed out artist J. Seward Johnson Jr’s sculpture on Niagara Street (at Rich Products). It was one of the first times in my life that I remember thinking that art was cool. I wanted to get out of the car and examine the piece. Ever since I was young this realistic sculpture has captured my attention. As we passed by on Sunday I recognized my friend Jack sitting next to the sculpture. Jack had helped to keep Elmwood clean a dozen years ago when we were busy organizing some micro music festivals. “There’s print in the newspaper,” Jack said. “Look, you can see actual articles printed on Tuesday, November 10th, 1958.” So I looked, and sure enough there were a series of articles pertaining to Rich Products sculpted into the ‘paper’.
When we examined the other side of the paper, we realized that it was from an actual edition of the Courier Express (complete with etched photos). A few of the more interesting headlines read, “Defects Plague Geary Apartments”, “Philharmonic Board Asks To Trim Season”, and “Cowboys Give Bills The Boot”. It was amazing to see how much detail went into this incredible sculpture. “They stole the first one,” Jack continued. “I grew up in this neighborhood and remember when it was stolen.” Hmmm, I had never heard that this sculpture had been stolen and replaced with a new one. Jack swears that he remembers when it happened. Anyone else out there recall the incident?
Regardless, the fact that Niagara Street is lucky enough to have such an awesome work of art from a well-known artist is wonderful. He’s got a pipe in his pocket and a real cigarette butt in his mouth. Hundreds of people have had their photo taken with this silent celebrity and hopefully he’ll be around to see many, many more years of inquisitive passersby.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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