In the early afternoon on May 12, Buffalo's most popular spring-breaker will return home.
Like last year, when Casey Riordan Millard's "Shark Girl" sculpture took a brief break from her perch at the edge of the Buffalo River to get a few cosmetic touch-ups, Buffalo's most adored public artwork in memory has been undergoing another bout of restoration work.
"I am happy to announce the return of our beloved Shark Girl," said Albright-Knox public art curator Aaron Ott. "It's clear from the response we have gotten in her absence that she is an enormously popular piece of Buffalo's culture. We are delighted to see how our area's residents have embraced her fun and playful attitude, as it alludes to the tremendous influence of public art in general."
While it's technically true that "Shark Girl" has been getting some structural enhancements to prepare her for what will no doubt be an renewed onslaught of adulation from Canalside visitors this summer, it's much more fun to imagine that she's been away on vacation.
That's just what we've done with this series of "Shark Girl" vacation photos, expertly Photoshopped by News Contributing Writer Ben Siegel:
"Shark Girl" contemplates eternity at the edge of the San Francisco Bay:
"Shark Girl" marvels at the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon:
"Shark Girl" goes to Hollywood:
"Shark Girl" explores American history:
Shark Girl rides a roller coaster:
"Shark Girl" intimidates tourists on Liberty Island:
"Shark Girl" visits her friends and family from the underwater half of her family:
Welcome back, "Shark Girl." It's good to have you home.