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Princess Jasmine ate saucy chicken wings at Allentown bar-restaurant Gabriel’s Gate next to her arch-nemesis Jafar, who preferred the beef on weck. It sounds like the beginning of a way-too-specific joke. But Lissa deGuzman and Jonathan Weir, respective Jasmine and Jafar in "Aladdin," which finishes up its Buffalo stop on the tour Aug. 19 in Shea’s Buffalo Theatre (646 …

Art

People love "Shark Girl." Maybe a little too much. They love her so much, in fact, that the toothy face of the New Buffalo has lost a bit of its sheen and needs to a month off for some much-needed R&R -- that is, restoration and reinforcement. Casey Riordan Millard's sculpture, which headed away for a short time last year for light repair work, will be reeled in by A…

Art

One year ago today, Buffalo welcomed its most popular public artwork in memory. At a bizarre news conference attended by local politicians and officials from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Casey Riordan Millard's "Shark Girl" sculpture made its debut, immediately causing a social media sensation, drawing throngs of admirers and spawning countless Instagrams, to wit: &nbs…

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During the past decade, Western New York has welcomed dozens of new public art projects. From the selfie-ready sensation known as "Shark Girl" and the terror-inspiring "Scary Lucy" to much quieter community murals, semi-sanctioned street art projects and neighborhood beautification projects, the public's appetite for art outside gallery and museum walls is growing rapidly.…

Art

Staff from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are lining up behind their favorite 2016 presidential candidate -- Buffalo's beloved Shark Girl, who officially announced her candidacy on June 15. (Or, at least, the person who anonymously runs the whimsical sculpture's Twitter account did.) Here's a picture of the Albright-Knox staff posing with their toothy political hopeful:

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The foundation of the Fourth of July holiday obviously harkens back to 1776, when the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain through Thomas Jefferson's fine penmanship monumental document. Unless you're roughly 240 years old, it's impossible to recreate the exhilaration, stemming from freedom from oppression, that our forefathers experienced, but…

Art

Under the normal laws of nature, the shark circles the people.Here in Buffalo, the people circle the shark.Walk past Shark Girl, the whimsical waterfront sculpture, on any sunny afternoon, and odds are, she will be surrounded. And someone will be sitting next to her. And both fish and visitor will be flashing the same toothy grin.“They’re lured in!” laughed Peg Mark of Eas…

Art

Shark Girl is back from vacation ahead of schedule, and she's looking good. The popular sculpture, which was removed earlier this month to undergo minor conservation work after a rough winter, returned Tuesday afternoon to its new location at Canalside near one of the newly constructed bridges beside the historic Commercial Slip. "I am really excited about Shark Girl's…

Art

Never underestimate the power of bad public art to ignite a community debate. See: “Scary Lucy,” the unholy bronze monstrosity of unrelenting horror in Celoron, soon to be decapitated or banished to the depths and replaced by a more faithful tribute to Lucille Ball.Never underestimate the power of great public art to bring renewed interest to matters of grave political imp…

Art

Poor Shark Girl, still frozen in place Han Solo-style along the windswept Canalside boardwalk, awaiting warmer weather. She just looks so forlorn. I mean, more forlorn than usual: [bn_tweet url="https://twitter.com/buffgrl/status/557252322561392641"] According to her steward, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, temperatures remain too cold to dislodge her from her current sp…

Art

At this point, I can almost write the stories with my eyes closed: According to a new report from (insert name of government agency or nonprofit here), arts and cultural organizations contributed (insert astoundingly high dollar figure here) to the (local/national/global) economy last year. The recent barrage of cultural economic impact studies, increasingly employed as …

Art

You’re not the only one too cold to move.“Shark Girl,” the sculpture by Cincinnati-based artist Casey Riordan Millard that captured the city’s imagination and dominated Instagram feeds last summer, is staying put for the time being. Plans to move the statue closer to the Ice at Canalside were delayed because the frigid weather has frozen it in …

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Rarely does any experience, however important it may seem at the time, survive in your memory completely intact. But certain jarring moments do stand out, inserting their grappling hooks into your brain and dragging the details around them into sharper focus. It could be anything: The look in an actor’s eyes during an emotional scene; a child’s surprising reaction to an a…

Art

It's not all about "Shark Girl." At least, not entirely. During the past few weeks, Buffalo neighborhoods have seen the addition of several new murals and other public art projects. Though most of the attention has focused on the extremely popular and selfie-ready sculpture at Canalside and the subsequent "you are beautiful" billboards, these other projects are worth a lo…

Art

Now starring on a billboard in your neighborhood: You.Or, more specifically, a message custom-tailored to boost your self-esteem and brighten your day, spelled out in bold, lower-case Helvetica letters: “you are beautiful”.The feel-good billboards, which are now popping up along area highways and thoroughfares, are part of a new public art project organized b…