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Shark Girl

By Mary Kate Wirfel

Buffalo is noted for its architecture and artwork. Tourists always come to Buffalo for that reason. Photographers are always looking for the perfect shot of Buffalo's art deco style architecture and the creative art murals and sculptures around the city and Western New York region. One art piece that stands out from the rest is what we know as Shark Girl.

The iconic Shark girl statue was created by artist Casey Riordan. The idea was to create something funny, charming and symbolic so that it would stay in people’s mines forever. Shark girls sitting design was created so someone could sit down beside her to enjoy the view of the waterfront or wherever Shark Girl is headed off to next. Shark Girl is one of the most popular places to take selfies aside from the ever growing murals that are popping up all around Buffalo.

When Shark Girl first made her debut in 2013, people were not too fond of the statue's unique design. Several people found the idea of a girl with a shark head a little bit bazar and frightening. As the years went on Shark Girl grew on the residence of the Queen City. Everyone grew to love her. In May 2017, the Albright Knox Art Gallery hosted an exhibit featuring Shark Girl, sculptures, drawings and paintings by Casey Riordan. The exhibit was called Shark Girl Never Quite There and ran until October 2017.

Shark Girl is all over Buffalo. Other artists are including Shark Girl into their work such as murals, stickers, pins, t-shirts and many more. There is a picture of Shark Girl welcoming everyone to the Oishei Children’s Hospital. Maybe one day Shark girl will star in her own graphic novel?

In October 2019, Shark Girl was taken away for some much needed repairs by the Albright Knox. Shark Girl had some wear and tear from sitting in the sun, rain, wind, snow and ice. The ever changing weather in Buffalo can take a toll on almost everyone. Shark Girl was supposed to return in spring 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic she will not return until spring 2021. Right now Shark Girl is quarantining like the rest of us. She will return and when she does bring some hand sanitizer and wear a mask for an epic selfie.

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