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The Sculptures of Lawrence Kinney

I was recently reminded of the accomplishments of sculptor Lawrence Kinney when I posted on the 2020 virtual Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens. I led the post with a photo of BRockie the Pig, who sits at the corner of Farmer and Guernsey at the Farmer Street Community Garden. It was after publishing the piece that the Kinneys reached out to me, to tell me more about Lawrence and his playful work. It turns out that the sculptor has been very busy as of late, producing a wide range of creations for clients.

The first time that I was made aware of Kinney, as an avid sculptor, was upon completion of his masterful steam-bend tribute to first female Native American engineer Mary G. Ross. 

Lawrence Kinney

It was brought to my attention that the artist has made three newly-commissioned sculptures in the last two years, including his latest work – “Bison Boy,” who stands… rather sits atop a bench in front of King Condrell’s Candy and Ice Cream in Kenmore (lead image).

Like most of Kinney’s fun and fanciful sculptures, Bison Boy is an interactive work of art that invites passersby to stop for a selfie.

After completing graduate studies at the University at Buffalo, he began designing and fabricating characters and oversized objects for a variety of public spaces.

Incredibly, Kinney has crafted over 300 of these sculptures over the last thirty years! That’s a huge canon of work, especially when you stop to consider the amount of time, skill, patience, and ingenuity that goes into each one.

“I am not interested in whether this particular body of work is categorized as fine art.  The innovation is still the same,” said Kinney, who has also produced abstract sculptures for public spaces. “My goal is to create characters for public places that people enjoy.”

Kinney is also co-founder of the University Heights Arts Association and the designer of the UHAA Sculpture Garden.

Some of Kinney’s works are as follows:

  • Thirty sculptures in the Boulevard Mall Food Court, where they remained for the life of the food court
  • A floating solar system for the Plaza del Sol mall in Puerto Rico
  • 27 giant food characters for the Galleria at Sunset in Henderson (near Las Vegas) Nevada
  • Four surfboard characters for an attraction in San Francisco
  • Maxie Man (holding a martini – inset) who greeted guests of Angelo and Maxie’s Steakhouse in Manhattan
  • Kahuna Man character for the former Kahunaville Restaurant in Cheektowaga
  • The neon-enhanced Rochester Redwing mascot (wall) sculpture, affixed to the entrance of Frontier Stadium in Rochester
  • “The Indian Village” at Martin’s Fantasy Island

Aside from the laborious process to complete the projects, there’s also the aspect of sourcing people, businesses, and associations to commission the works, which can be found as far away as Puerto Rico. That’s the true testament that must be considered – an artist is driven to create, but getting paid is a big part of the game. Kinney is not only deemed a prolific artist, he’s also made a name for himself as a seasoned professional.

And with that, Kinney has no intentions of slowing down. He is currently working on two additional sculptures to add to his portfolio, which will in turn bring smiles of delight to passersby’s faces, who can’t help but take notice of his spirited works.

Get connected: Lawrence Kinney

Selected exhibits

WNYAG 15th Annual Juried Members (Contemporary) Exhibition Buffalo NY
Millard Fillmore Suburban
 Atrium Exhibit Buffalo NY
Hallwalls Gallery
 2008 Members Exhibition Buffalo NY
Buffalo Society of Artists
 Summer 2008 Exhibition Lewiston NY
Artpark 2008
 Edges Sculpture Competition Buffalo NY (1st Prize)
Buffalo Society of Artists
 Springtime 2008 Exhibition Buffalo NY
Western New York Artists Group
 2008 Contemporary Members Show Buffalo NY
Western New York Artists Group
 My Best Work Buffalo NY
Big Orbit Gallery
 2008 Members Show Buffalo NY
Burchfield Penney Art Ctr
 The Artists Among Us Buffalo NY
Western New York Artists Group
 Winter Blues Exhibition Buffalo NY
Rochester Contemporary Arts Center
 ROCO Members Exhibition Rochester NY
Hallwalls Gallery
 2007 Members Exhibition Buffalo NY
Western New York Artists Group
 Romantically Inspired Buffalo NY
 Guitars for Hope Buffalo NY
Theater of Youth Silent Art Auction Buffalo NY
Pan-American Exposition
 Art Across Borders Buffalo NY
Forest Lawn 150th Anniversary
 Sculpture of the Spirit Buffalo NY
AIDS Community Services
 Cause for Celebration Buffalo NY
Anderson Gallery Invitational Show
 Sightings Buffalo NY
UB Sculpture Alumni Exhibition
 Homage to Duayne Hatchett Buffalo NY
Anita Shapolsky Gallery
 Wood the Eternal Medium New York City NY
Anderson Gallery
 Expressions from the Collection Buffalo NY

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.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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