‘The Buffalo Mural’ first started out as an illustration created by Mario Zucca, an artist who was living and working in Philadelphia, that caught the eye of Zoom Copy owner, Rory Allen. Per Allen’s words, “A while back, I talked to Ikram Massabini (MVP Network Consulting) about applying a mural on the side of his building,” and that “The wall begged for something, and Ikram agreed that a mural would be appropriate for the blank wall.” (from interview with buffalorising.com) Allen one day was searching around online for Buffalo related artwork and that is when he found this hand drawn piece by Mario Zucca and knew he just had to have it on the building.
Fast forwarding to when the mural was officially being placed on the building, we find that they used a very different approach to how it was done. Instead of painting it on the building as most murals are done here in the city, the art was printed and applied. The drawing captures the eye of many with it’s astonishing bright colors and the way is picks up and acknowledges almost everything of what Buffalo and it’s surrounding areas has to offer through it’s history and more. Just to name a few, the mural showcases Buffalo Niagara Intl. Airport, Elmwood Village, Allentown, the Buffalo Zoo, Sharkgirl, Niagara Falls, Ralph Wilson Stadium, the iconic Shea’s Theatre, and many more as the list could go on and on forever.
You can find more of Mario’s AMAZING hand drawn art just starting at his Instagram page @mario_zucca .
‘Wildflowers for Buffalo’ is a very large, colorful mural made by Louise Jones’s (née chen), aka Ouizi, is a muralist born and raised in Santa Monica, California to Shanghainese parents. She is based out of Detroit and has a main focus of creating large scale murals, typically of colorful floral themes. Her murals you can see all across the United States, including museums and public parks.
‘Wildflowers for Buffalo’ actually has a very unique story behind it thanks to Ouizi. Before painting this large scale mural, she wanted there to be specific types of flowers on, but she wasn’t sure. So, she did some research, and the flowers in the installation are actually flowers that are native to our area, Buffalo. The flowers include (from top left to bottom as albrightknox.org tells us) red clover, coneflower, burdock, chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, thistle, lamb’s quarters, swamp rose, and yarrow. Ouizi tells albrightknox.org that she “wasn’t just drawn to these species not only for their connection to the Buffalo region but also for their role in herbal medicine traditions as asides for bringing and well-being.” She also added as “special cultivated guests” she called them: strawflowers and pussy willows that she found and encountered by living on a farm in Eden. This mural is made of strictly acrylic paint and stands at a staggering 80 feet tall and 160 feet wide. To this date, it is the largest of the different pieces of the AK Public Art Initiative and is also the largest in Ouizi’s career.
You can view this mural driving or walking down Washington St or Ellicott St, as it is VERY hard to not see due to it’s immense color and size. To see more of her work, her Instagram handle is @0uizi !
The ‘Walking Back Time’ mural by Logan Hicks in partnership with the Albright Knox is a mural that is based on one of the photographs that Hicks took of one of the city’s signature views down Court St toward Niagara Square and City Hall. Logan Hicks, an American contemporary artist born in 1971, uses the style of stencil as well as black and white toned pieces with a form of bright color being red, blue, green, orange, and yellow.
This untitled mural showcasing the friendship of Mark Twain and John T. Lewis is by Eduardo Kobra, also known as Kobra, is a street artist who was born in January 1975 in São Paulo, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Kobra started his journey in 1987 at just 12 years old in his hometown of São Paulo. He has painted a total over 3,000 murals on five different continents, and doesn’t seem to be stopping soon. His murals consist of very bright colors, always including the rainbow and geometric shapes, such as triangles, squares, or rectangles.
The mural he created of Mark Twain and John T. Lewis showcases their tight-knit friendship, but it has a deeper meaning behind it. The untitled mural was actually based off of a 1903 photo of Mark Twain sitting on his steps of his vine-covering porch in Elmira, New York with his very white hair messy and his face blank with no expression. Twain in the photo was sitting next to his good pal, John T. Lewis, a poor pig farmer. After they both died, they didn’t go far from each other and they are both buried very close to each other in Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery, in the town where they met. If you look deeper into the piece, you can see that the best pair are sitting side by side underneath what it seems to be a galaxy with Halley’s comet, which buffalonews.com tells is “the appearance of which coincided with Mark Twain’s birth and death.”
This piece is part of the Albright-Knox ‘s Public Art Initiative and it is not going away any time, as it is one of or the most popular mural in the Buffalo, NY area.
‘Shooting Stars’, a mural you can view in the parking lot on the left side of the iconic Shea’s theatre or from the street views in the heart of the Theatre District (Main St). As it is on the older side compared to the rest of the other murals around our city, it is very overlooked and you don’t see many people posting about it today and also cannot find much information on the mural, the artist, how old it is, a possible story behind it, etc. The ‘Shooting Stars’ name I am assuming means something along the lines of the stars on stage at Shea’s and Broadway. I do wish I had more information on this mural to share with you all though.
As you take a drive down the color filled Hertel Ave of Buffalo, you see multiple different art installations that are all unique, but somehow symbolize home and the City of Good Neighbors. Bunnie Reiss’s ‘Magic Buffalo’ mural, located on the side of Joe’s Deli, is just one of those. Bunnie Reiss, is an American born artist who uses the backgrounds of her Russian and Polish heritage, as you can see in her bright fully colored folk art that makes her murals and other art different from the rest. The mural features her signature style of not only the folk art, but “her signature interweaving of dreamlike imagery and mythological themes with delicate geometric tracery.” (albrightknox.org) From albrightknox.org’s interview with Reiss, she comments, “I was raised in Colorado, with the blue skies and different colors of grass, flowers blooming—that vivid scenery also had an influence on me. I think the combination of those things has finally bubbled up to the surface. So much of art is about investigating yourself and your community.” Reiss also has created more than 14 mural projects, all in the Los Angeles and Bay Area since her relocation there.
‘Magic Buffalo’ actually stretches all across the front and other side of Joe’s Deli (not pictured), which makes it so incredibly hard not to view and have your eye caught to it’s magnificent color and intriguing designs. The mural is part of Albright Knox’s Public Art Initiative, making it one of the many that you can see and learn more about on their website.
On the back of the infamous Misuta Chow’s on Main St in Buffalo, you see ‘Murals’ by Taka Sudo, a very neon, abstract, and unique mural with many colors and effortless lines. Who is Taka Sudo? The artist, Taka Sudo was born and raised in Tokyo, in which most of his inspiration comes from in all of his mural pieces. Sudo is now based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and you can view is murals in many different places. Sudo is most inspired however on being different and making art that pops and stands out, like his vibrant contrasting but complimenting colors he uses against the black wall. He also incorporates patterns into his pieces like lines or other shapes (as you can see on the face of both dragons). The mediums he uses are very different from one another, which make it so unique. He uses neon color, neutral colors, newsprint, photo collage, etc to assemble organic shapes to help find the emotion of the piece and energy.
This mural on the Main St side of Misuta Chow’s is definitely something you cannot miss while driving with its SUPER bright color and it’s vibrance. You can view more of his pieces and progress pictures on his Instagram, @takasudoart !
The ‘Lookin’ Good’ mural by Casey William Milbrand, the artist who also commissioned the ‘Greetings From Buffalo’ mural, is located on the wall of Crāv and is apart of the many murals of historic and color popping Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. Casey William Milbrand is an artist in which we covered already with his ‘Greetings From Buffalo’ mural, but he is an exceptional one. If you don’t know, he is a Buffalo-based artist, born in 1981, who is mainly focused on pen and ink illustration, interactive sculptures, and large-scale public murals. He received a Master of Architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008, in which you can see his background of architecture shines through the art with his shading and 3-D technique, that makes Milbrand’s work stand out from the rest.
The ‘Lookin’ Good’ mural is harder to miss, as it is on the very large side of Buffalo murals and it’s outstanding, beautiful, and vibrant color, making it so attracting to the eye. The media it is composed of is acrylic paint. From hertelwalls.com, Milbrand explained the mural as, “I think the new mural comes at a perfect time for the community, and with so many other murals popping up along Hertel Avenue, it’s plain to see that our resurgent city is truly lookin’ good!” He also said that he hopes that this mural and his others inspire other “Buffalonians to keep their own personal passion projects moving forward.”
The ‘Diver and Sea Creature’ mural on the back of Main St Studios is a large-scale, brightly colored mural that tells sort of a story if you use your imagination while viewing. This mural was created by “OGRE”, Tingley, and Collins, all artists who have sanctioned and unsanctioned work around the city, “harkening back to the days when artists went under cover of night, always looking over their shoulders for fear of getting caught” (hellobuffalohikes.com). Either hidden or prominent, their art is still around here and all it takes is a deep search. This mural was created before the Albright Knox Public Art Initiative, which brought along a lot more murals that are more well known than this one since the Initiative’s creation in 2014. The artists are all known for their unique styles, that makes this piece work and is so special. It is described by buffaloah.com as, “The piece is a fusion of the three artists' styles, with OGRE's illustrative, cartoonish characters melting into Tingley's more realistic portrait work and Collins' wheatpasted photography of joyful neighborhood characters.”
This mural is not on the largest side compared to the others that are newer, but it is still pretty big and may I add, very bright and colorful. The turquoise’s, blues, greens, all melt into one another to make the hidden story feel more alive and give you a sense of imagination to figure out the puzzle while interpreting and creating your own story.
The ‘Greetings from Buffalo’ mural is one of Buffalo’s most Instagram’d murals with all of it’s vibrance that we radiate out to others that are not from here. This mural was designed and created by Casey William Milbrand, an American born, Buffalo-based artist who is mainly focused on larger-scale murals, pen and ink illustration, and interactive sculptures. He attended Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008 and received his Master of Architecture degree. Milbrand is so known in the Buffalo community that he actually has merchandise partnering with Step Out Buffalo with the design of the “Buffalo Heart”. The design is described to “show the strength and resilience of the Buffalo community during this time and always.” You can also view more of Milbrand's work on more walls of our city including the ‘Lookin’ Good’ mural, the ‘As Is’ PRIDE mural at D’Youville College, and the ‘Let's Fall In Love’ mural in Niagara Falls.
‘Greetings from Buffalo’ is a highly colorful, bright, and vibrant mural located almost in the heart of downtown Buffalo and is a perfect spot for visitors and tourists to take pictures of/in front of during their stay in the brilliant, vast Queen City. This mural was completed in 2016.
Heart of 716
Matt Connors in collaboration with Sinatra & Co Real Estate and Zoom Copy
The ‘Heart of 716’ mural was designed and made by Matt Connors at Sinatra and Company Real Estate. This was created with the story in mind of when Rochester and the Queen City fought it out to which keeps the three digit, 716 area code as we both shared it at the time. The 716 code symbolized our city, in which why the new “cool” or “hip” thing is 716 EVERYTHING. For example like Discover 716, 716 Moms, 716 Sports Bar and Grille, 716 Day, and many more.
The mural is supposed to also symbolize the love and happiness we have with our city and how we feel about our city of good neighbors. The “talk bubble” aspect of it was based from Instagram with the notifications when you get a like, comment, or follow, as that was also the cool thing at the time to use that symbol as a photo op. It is described by