Buffalo is now home to a new public work of art called Shark Girl. The unusual interactive sculpture was created by Casey Riordan Millard – “a blend of whimsy and alarm, half Lewis Carroll’s Alice, half great white shark.”
The initiative was made possible by a collaboration (Public Art Initiative) that included members/supporters of The County, The City, The Buffalo Arts Commission, the Albright-Knox and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. Shark Girl comes on the heels of a recent Tape Art project at the Central Library. A push is on in Buffalo to establish a series of public artistic endeavors, finally.
“I want to extend my sincerest thanks to County Executive Poloncarz, Deputy County Executive Tobe, and our Erie County Legislators for making this new partnership possible. Their dedication and commitment to the growth and development of our region both as a destination for tourists and an outstanding place to live, work, and grow is commendable, and I am delighted that the AK joins them in this effort,” said AK director Janne Sirén. Poloncarz added, “Partnerships and new thinking are essential to moving Erie County and our region forward. The County’s investment in the Public Art Initiative demonstrates that our community has the creativity, innovation, and forethought to build vibrant public spaces that draw visitors and private investment. We can now spotlight cultural developments along with the economic developments that are transforming our area.”
Sirén has also eluded to a series of art billboards that should start to appear around the city, in conjunction with Lamar Advertising. “I won’t say any more for now, but start looking in the next few days. I want you all to discover and be delighted by this project! On behalf of Erie County and the AK, thank you to our colleagues at Lamar, Account Executive Todd Schaefer and General Manager Rick Dvorak.”
Shark Girl is intended to be an approachable interactive (think selfies) work of art that appeals to a wide range of people. The thought was to create something that sightseers could relate to in different ways, while capturing the moment on camera.
Much of what we are seeing is due to the inclusion of a salary for a Public Art Curator at the Albright-Knox – a position now held by Aaron Ott.
Not only is there a new art buzz on the city’s grassroots front, it seems as if the politicians and arts organizations are also onboard withe movement.
Look for lots more to come from the Public Arts Initiative in the near future.