5 artworks off the beaten path
You don’t have to visit a gallery or a museum to see great works of art in Western New York. Sometimes, all you have to do is look up. Or
Spain Rodriguez Mural / Central Terminal
This tribute to the late comix artist Spain Rodriguez in an abandoned train terminal caused quite a stir when it was unveiled in 2012. Though it’s in a section of the city that’s off-limits to visitors, it’s an important example of a rising consciousness among local street artists about their social surroundings and art history.
Sculpture by Reinhard Reitzenstein / Larkin District
Originally installed as part of the 2007 version of Beyond/In Western New York, this red steel sculpture resembles an electric tower bending back on itself and attempting to bury its head in the earth. It’s organic and industrial at the same time, a reminder of the connection between Buffalo’s historic and emerging industries and its human citizens.
Collaborative mural / 515 Main St.
Completed during the summer of 2012, this collaboration among artists Chuck Tingley, Max Collins and Ogre adds a welcome blast of color to this up-and-coming block of Main Street. It combines the distinct styles of each artist – Ogre’s illustrative cartoon characters, Collins’ photography and Tingley’s figurative drawing – to create a vibrant reflection of the surrounding neighborhood.
“Before I Die...” / Corner of Fillmore Avenue and Paderewski Drive
New Orleans-based street artist Candy Chang created a kind of franchise system, whereby her interactive murals have been exported to cities across the globe. One of those projects, a mural with “Before I die...” printed on it and meant to be filled out in chalk by passers-by, hangs on a vacant property (with the permission of the owner).
Allen Street Street Art Collective / Allen Street
This controversial project, launched in 2013 to transform a series of walls in Allentown into an outdoor art gallery in the style of Miami’s Wynwood Walls, already is starting to show signs of wear. But it still features the handiwork of Ian DeBeer, Julian Montague, Chow Monstro and other Western New York artists working to push the city’s incipient street art scene forward.