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New addition to city’s outdoor collection adds a giant splash of color downtown

Buffalo has a long tradition of public art, and the pace has been picking up recently as the fortunes of the city have risen. The most recent addition to our trove is the colorful mural unveiled this week in the Cobblestone District.

The Pop- and Bauhaus-influenced mural, called “Go!,” designed by Augustina Droze and Bruce Adams, is on a six-story building at 95 Perry St., at the corner of Mississippi Street near Helium Comedy Club.

An article by News staff reporter Mark Sommer detailed the painstaking and loving process involved in creating this latest work. The project began with a request for proposals by Art Services Initiative, and included a requirement that the mural relate to the waterfront and the Cobblestone District.

Droze, one of the area’s most accomplished muralists, and Adams, a figurative painter who worked with Droze to create a mural on Elmwood Avenue near Bidwell Parkway, won the assignment.

The gigantic, captivating work includes images of machinery, masts and silos, topped by two panels on the building’s top story. The first panel shows a clearly enthusiastic woman with a wide-open mouth. The word “Go!” appears in the next panel. As Sommer wrote, “The image was inspired by a famous 1932 Russian Constructivist poster in which a woman exhorts workers to unite.”

Embraced by Savarino Properties, this is the third work of public art in the district. Hi-Temp Fabrication, which operates Hi-Temp Art Gallery on one floor, has a mural, and visible through a glass wall in the lobby at 26 Mississippi is a spray-painted mural of the fireboat Edward M. Cotter, by the artist OGRE.

The trend in new public art fits nicely with the city’s resurgence, particularly in the downtown and waterfront areas. Canalside is home to “Shark Girl” and “Silent Poets,” while “Homeless Jesus” is on a downtown bench.

On the Albright-Knox Art Gallery grounds are “Laura, 2012” and Nancy Rubins’ canoe sculpture. Add to that the sculptures, monuments, memorials, fountains and busts that have gone up over the decades, from the monument to President William McKinley to the replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David. All are key assets in a reinvigorating Buffalo.