The inaugural Hertel Alley Street Art Festival has been deemed a big hit in North Buffalo. Over the weekend, upwards of 20 street artists gathered along an alley that runs parallel to Hertel (between Traymore and Colvin) to paint a massive stretch of walls. This latest art effort was the brainchild of artist Vinny Alejandro and yours truly, with the help of Delaware District Councilmember Joel Feroleto and the Hertel Business Association (see back story).
Thankfully Mother Nature ended up cooperating for the most part, because there was only a short period of time when it rained. Other than that, the artists had plenty of time to work on their murals, and a lot of neighbors came out to check out the action. Along with lots of live art, there were multiple DJs throughout the course of the two days, an ice creamcycle, vendors, and tons of photo ops.
Artist Nicole Cherry (lead image), told me that, at one point during the event, a man walked up to her and handed her $100. He thanked her for beautifying the building, and walked away. Cherry told me that she couldn’t believe how incredible that moment was, because the hundred bucks was going to come in very handy. After all, these artists not only donated their time to beautify the Hertel Alley walls, they also paid for their own paint!
From what I understand, there is a general consensus that this event will be repeated next year, only bigger. The alley has been transformed into an urban street gallery, thanks to local artists, and visiting artists from other states. Now that we have one event under our belt, it’s going to be even easier to attract more talents from even further away.
It’s pretty exciting to see all of the new art projects bubbling up in North Buffalo, partially thanks to the residents that support the ongoing artistic efforts. Hertel has come alive with multiple spectacular murals that not only brighten the neighborhood, they tell the stories of new generation of Buffalonians that has come to appreciate public art.