Here we go again! After exploring the likes of Elmwood and Hertel Avenues, among other hotspots for public art in the city, our next stop is the ever-lively Main Street.
There’s so much to discover, from the murals tucked away in alleys to those displayed openly on buildings; from newer creations to the historic ones in the theater district downtown. Even the Metro Rail Stations are full of classic and modern pieces (more on that to come soon!). For now, have a look at just a fraction of what Main Street has to offer, starting with University Heights.
IconZ Hair Design (3168 Main St.)
On the exterior of IconZ Hair Design is a bright and bold mural of a yellow finch; electric, no? Note also its tiny snail friend spreading a trail of Buffalove…
Talking Leaves Books (3158 Main St.)
Quick disclaimer: These ones aren’t technically on Main Street. While they do grace the exterior of Talking Leaves Books, you’ll have to walk down Northrup Street to get to them. First, you’ll find Higher Learning at University Heights, a vibrant mural evoking memories of elementary school days and childlike imagination.
Next up is The Queen City by Bigg, two old wooden doors facing the road, decorated with the sun setting behind Buffalo’s skyline. It’s a fetching combination of stenciling, freehand spray paint with a drip effect and vintage tagging ‘font,’ reminiscent of ‘80s graffiti.
Wrapping the building further is another mural by Bigg, a two-for-one, with the left side serving as somewhat of a promo for topdocumentaryfilms.com, and the right side an ode to “Building A Better Buffalo,” seemingly through education, as a builder with a UB cap works with anthropomorphic tools, including a hammer, a tape measurer and a screwdriver.
Finally, at the rear of Talking Leaves is a bold homage to University Heights and “Fresh Produce,” with Bob the Tomato and Junior Asparagus from Veggie Tales who do look undeniably…fresh.
The next few pieces aren’t outwardly visible, as they reside between establishments; however, they’re impossible to miss with a quick sidestep from the sidewalk.
Between WNY Independent Living (3108 Main St.) and Doctor Birds Caribbean Rasta Rant (3104 Main St.) are two displays that take up the sides of both buildings. The first features quirky cartoon robots with one emitting “BUFFALO” smoke, all beside what appears to be a giant zombie head or mad scientist; decide for yourself.
The other mural is a tribute to the classic graffiti style of intricately designed but nearly illegible characters. Nevertheless, the illustration is beautifully and neatly executed, along with vibrant yellow-orange lilies and four-petaled flowers.
But wait; there’s more! Between the left-hand side of Doctor Birds Caribbean Rasta Rant and Queen City Imaging (3100 Main St.), two more walls of murals can be found. The first (on Doctor Birds) features faces adorned with flower crowns and foliage, alongside some colorful “bookworms;” a nod once more to the academic element of University Heights. Right across from these are the Queen City Imaging murals, which include a light post on the corner of Main Street and Education Avenue, a pink and blue robot, King Neptune Riding a jellyfish and “peeled off” sections of the wall revealing multicultural flags.
Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (1219 Main St.)
Now leaving University Heights…our next stop: The Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, which houses a mural courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Public Art Initiative. Dream Keepers by Alice Mizrachi and students from Mayor Byron Brown’s Summer Youth Program is a vibrant piece with messages of optimism for a flourishing future. Togetherness is symbolized by a lock around the young woman’s neck, to which her friend holds the key in his shirt pocket (note also on his pocket the artist’s initials).
710 Main Theatre (710 Main St.)
Let’s take it downtown to 710 Main Theatre, where the former black and gold “Stars of the Season” mural has been transformed into something much more colorful. Noodle in the Northern Lights by Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn is an eye-catching display of stripes and abstract shapes that reflect downtown Buffalo’s roaring revival that has been taking place over the past few years.
As you walk a little further along, be sure to check out an assortment of faded but beautifully in-tact murals, reflective of Buffalo’s historic Theatre District.
This has been only but a glimpse of Main Street’s artistic offerings. Have any faves that weren’t shown here? Be sure to #VibeWithUs in the comments section below and fill us in!