With nearly 100 wall murals scattered throughout the city, public art is the tangible visualization of Buffalo’s rebirth.
A driving tour of the murals will get you out of the house while exposing you and your family to something new. From Vinny Alejandro’s “Welcome to South Buffalo” located on 2277 South Park Ave., to Team Razor Wire and Edreys Wajed’s “The Protector of Dreams (Lion)” in University Heights, located on 3133 Bailey Ave., there’s public art to be seen in every pocket of the city.
So get out of the house and get inspired from the comfort and safety of your car by taking a drive around the public art in your neighborhood or another one. You may be surprised to see what’s been commissioned in your own backyard. We'll get you started with a quick look at four neighborhoods with directions and four highlights.
North Buffalo has become a magnet for public art and world-renowned street artists, with 10 wall murals fewer than 1.5 miles from each other along Hertel Avenue. Each mural celebrates Buffalo in a distinct and colorful way, stoking the flames of “Buffalove” and hometown pride. That seems appropriate, considering that the foot traffic from these murals helps the many locally owned businesses operating on Hertel. A number of these pieces focus on well-known Buffalo figures, such as Mark Twain, Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and the Goo Goo Dolls. Hertel Alley, a three-block stretch between Traymore Street and Colvin Avenue, is home to the work of 20 local and out of state artists who volunteered their time to beautify the once forlorn space and created a wonderland of street art.
Directions: Starting at Delaware Avenue, head down Hertel Avenue and take in the street art surrounding you on both sides.
“Goo Goo Dolls Mural” by Philip Burke and Zoom Copy at 1212 Hertel Ave.
“We Are Here” by White Bicycle at 1260 Hertel Ave.
“Buffalo Map” by Mario Zucca and Zoom Copy at 1297 Hertel Ave.
“Magic Buffalo” by Bunnie Reiss at 1318 Hertel Ave.
The West Side has a chronicled history of immigration, which is evidenced through its vibrant, emergent multicultural community. The public art honors the contributions made by the immigrants and families who formed the community foundation, while hoping to inspire the next generation to continue its resurgence. The murals here represent the community's multiethnic presence, with some depicting both archival and modern imagery from each culture. These murals help to visualize how a culture can enrich the community and highlight the importance of preserving heritage. They particularly celebrate the contributions of the Hispanic, Latinx, African and Middle Eastern communities.
Directions: Just after the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Grant Street, continue to Lafayette Avenue and make a left. Continue to Niagara Street and turn left to see these murals and take in the neighborhood's revitalization.
“Sunrise/Sunset” by Tricia Butski and Patrick Foran at 448 Niagara St.
“Patria, Será Porque Quisiera Que Vueles, Que Sigue Siendo Tuyo Mi Vuelo (Homeland, Perhaps It Is Because I Wish to See You Fly, That My Flight Continues to Be Yours)” by Betsy Casañas at 585 Niagara St.
“We are…” by Chris Piontkowski at 1875 Niagara St.
“Grant Street Global Voices” by Augustina Droze at 185 Grant St.
On Buffalo’s East Side, public art lauds the cultural landscape of the historical neighborhood. The murals here are intended to provide a sense of comfort, solace and acceptance. They are meant to express inclusiveness and encourage togetherness and empathy among people from diverse walks of life and honor the history and vitality of diverse cultures. Many of the artists commissioned for these pieces were immigrants, further emphasizing the beauty that diversity brings to a community.
Directions: Starting at Longview Avenue and East Delavan Avenue, turn left on Fillmore Avenue, continue and turn right onto Broadway Street to view these murals.
“Dance Everyday” by Shantell Martin at 537 East Delavan Ave.
“Welcome Wall” by Keir Johnston and Ernel Martinez, 751 Fillmore Ave.
“Work and Play” by Otecki (Wojciech KoÅacz) at 617 Fillmore Ave.
“Our Colors Make Us Beautiful” by Muhammad Zaman at 1131 Broadway.
Downtown wall murals evoke the theme of growth, specifically, moving forward while still acknowledging the past. Many of these murals figuratively depict where Buffalo has been, but perhaps more importantly, where it’s going. Such pieces feature colorful and dynamic geometric patterns that are paired with instances of black and white, allegorically illustrating the solidarity of the past and the excitement of the future. Others echo popular architecture and focus on the nature of Buffalo’s landscape, circling back to the idea of continual growth.
Directions: From Pearl Street and West Tupper Street, continue to Washington Street and turn right. Continue to East Mohawk Street to see these murals and more.
“Noodle in the Northern Lights” by Jessie and Katey at 710 Main St.