Hertel Avenue is getting more colorful by the day. Yet another mural is on the way. This time the Albright-Knox has teamed up with Brian Grunert, founder of the Buffalo-based graphic design firm White Bicycle. The public work of art depicts a map of the Hertel area, but there is subliminal message hiding in plain sight if you step back and look and observe the blocks of color. Can you make out the word “WE”?
“WE are Here” – The word “WE” stands for progress that is underway in North Buffalo. “WE” are coming together to build a better Buffalo. “WE” represents the tight-knit families that live in Buffalo. “WE” is about making connections, and bettering our lives by building strong communities.
Aside from the “WE” message, there is a third Buffalo-esque element that pays tribute to the designs of East Aurora’s early-twentieth-century Roycroft community. The colorful block mosaic represents the stained glass that can be found in many of Buffalo’s historic churches.
As for the graphic artist, Grunert is best known for his design work for musicians that include Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, and Erroll Garner. Grunert has lived in this North Buffalo community for over a decade, which made him (and his team) the perfect fit for this particular wall that is located at 1260 Hertel Avenue.
Hopefully this latest mural effort will help to attract a strong tenant for this high profile corner building. The building was recently purchased by Sinatra and Company. It would be great to see the facade brought back to its original state. Along the way, there were some very poor decisions made because someone “cheaped out”. Instead of investing in the building, and the community, the building was subjected to some poor design choices. Could this mural be the spark that reverses some of those actions? I’ll be crossing my fingers on this one.
This project is supported in part by Buffalo City Council Member Joel Feroleto and Clover Group, Inc. Additional support for this mural has been provided by C2 Paint and the sponsors of the Summer of AK. The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.