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Stencil superstar Logan Hicks kicks off spate of new Buffalo murals

Buffalo's summer of murals is off to an auspicious start. And this weekend offers a chance to see the artists in action.

Just a few weeks after Felipe Pantone transformed the east facade of the Town Ballroom into a double-take-inducing digital hallucination, the sought-after street artist Logan Hicks will set to work on another wall in a prominent downtown spot. Hicks will begin work on a mural at 5 East Huron St., site of the former Oshun restaurant and onetime luncheonette, on Saturday.

Hicks' murals use complex layers of stencils and are based mostly on his own photography, according to a release from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which commissioned the piece as part of its public art program. The artist recently visited Buffalo to take photographs, which he will use in the mural.

Hicks, the gallery's release noted, "is often cited as one of the premier stencil-based muralists in the world and has been an active member of the street art and mural community since the early 2000s. Many of his works involve a staggering number of stencils, sometimes up to fifteen layers."

Hicks is expected to be at the site doing preparatory work on Saturday and Sunday, with painting set to begin Monday, depending on the weather.

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A new mural featuring bicycle imagery by Nicole Cherry, shown here in an artist's rendering, is coming to Niagara Street. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Cherry)

Nicole Cherry, 133o Niagara St.

If the weather holds this weekend, visitors to 1330 Niagara St. will be able to see a mural materializing on a future bicycle shop at the site. The mural, a sprawling collage infused with flowers and historic bikes, is the work of Buffalo-based artist Nicole Cherry.

Cherry, according to the Albright-Knox, "believes strongly in building community and the role that art has in enhancing quality of life."

She took inspiration for the mural from Buffalo's historic bike culture, incorporating 19th century penny farthings into a mural replete with floral patterns and creeping vines.

"Buffalo was a big bike town back in the day, so I wanted to bring back the old 1800s bikes," she said. "But I wanted to show the age of Buffalo which is why I had the vines growing on them … I love florals. Any time I can add florals to anything I’m all about it."

The mural, fostered by the Albright-Knox, is the result of a collaboration between the forthcoming bike shop, Buffalo Spokes LLC, and the community development group Vision Niagara.

She invites people to stop by and watch her progress.

"Everyone loves to tell you their story, of why they’re there, or how much they like art," Cherry said. "I always hear something interesting every time someone talks to me."

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Augustina Droze, 2302 Main St.

Meanwhile, at Parkside Candy on Main Street, accomplished local muralist Augustina Droze is expected to be at work on her own mural. More to come on Droze's work shortly.

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