Nobody ever could have predicted that Buffalo would be recognized for its public art. But that’s exactly what Men’s Journal pointed out – Buffalo, along with 11 other cities, is being acknowledged for its significant collection of murals. Not only does the media outlet point out that the city’s mural scene is booming, it also notes that the caliber of artwork is equally impressive, with the likes of internationally acclaimed artists that include Eduardo Kobra (lead image), Felipe Pantone, Shantell Martin, Logan Hicks, and Louise Jones.
I recall that it wasn’t that long ago when this city was embroiled in battles over what even constituted acceptable public art. I don’t think that Buffalo ever full recovered from the anarchy and infighting that ensued after the erection of the Green Lightning by artist Billie Lawless. It seemed that the public art scene sputtered out for some time, before the Albright-Knox helped to spur on a wave of enlightening murals, created by esteemed local artists as well as international sensations.
I must say that it’s nice to be recognized for a diverse range of things, like chicken wings, architecture, weather, sports, fresh water… and public art.
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to socially engage with, actively respond to, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center. The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.