The Albright-Knox Art Gallery continues its colorful public art initiative with the addition of three recent works. Hertel Avenue’s business district became brighter — and more imaginative — with an acrylic and spray paint mural by artists and longtime friends Chuck Tingley and Matthew Grote.
The mural, titled “Weego,” spans the west wall of the Lloyd Taco Factory Hertel Avenue location. Collaborators Tingley and Grote finished their newest creation, which took two weeks to paint, in early June.
“The inspiration for the mural stems from the concept of imagination,” said Tingley. “It comes so naturally to us as kids, but seems to disappear as we grow up. The mural is a reminder to create and build your own vessel to see the world. It can take you to new heights.”
Tingley, a Buffalo artist whose other public works include the Freedom Wall installation, added, “Reactions ranged from people cheering us on as they walked and drove by, to people asking us questions, wanting to know more.”
We Are Here
Also on Hertel about six blocks from “Weego” is “We Are Here,” a graphic streetscape that celebrates a sense of community in the City of Good Neighbors.
Its creation was led by Kyle Morrisey and Brian Grunert, along with four other staffers from local design studio White Bicycle. Hidden in the graphic design is the word “We.”
“This is an important piece of public art because it carries a message of inclusion,” said Aaron Ott, Albright-Knox curator of public art. “As we complete more projects throughout Buffalo and Erie County, we are finding that neighbors and community partners are truly invested in what we’re doing.”
Work and Play
Buffalo has the second largest Polish population in the country, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery celebrated that by bringing in Polish artist Wojciech Kolacz to brighten the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood on the East side, where Buffalo’s first families from Poland settled.
It’s located at 617 Fillmore Ave., across from the Torn Space Theater, the location of the former Polish Co-Op Savings & Loan and the Polish Army Veterans Assn. Post No. 1. The building is now owned privately.
“The outpouring of support that he received from the surrounding community was amazing,” said Ott. “Ultimately, the AK Public Art Initiative strives to create stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods, and these murals are great examples of that.”
Story topics: Community