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"Art on Wheels" Unveils First "Art Car"

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo's "Art on Wheels" public art initiative was launched Wednesday with the unveiling of the first "art car."

"Art on Wheels" is patterned after the succesful Herd about Buffalo initiative of two years ago, when all sorts of sculptures depicting the bison were erected throughout Buffalo.

Starting next spring, cars designed as pieces of "mobil art" and sculptures with a wheel theme using recycled materials will be placed outside dozens of cultural institutions and heritage sites in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Project Director Wendy Huntington said the first "art car" is a VW bug that will bring awareness to the project.

"This particular vehicle will be driving around from now through May promoting 'Art on Wheels,'" Huntington said.

"Art on Wheels" will be displayed as far south as the Graycliff Estate in Derby and as far north as Fort Niagara in Youngstown. Huntington said artists will be able to prepare their works at a site that was once occupied by Buffalo's famed Pierce Arrow car company, now the Great Arrow Industrial Park.

"The owners of the industrial park have donated 18,000 square feet of space for artists to work in," Huntington said. "We have a huge space. Cars can get up there through use of a ramp and freight elevator. Artists are free to use that space over the next eight months to create their works."

Huntington said area auto dealers are expected to donate 20 cars for the project.

Like Herd About Buffalo, the artwork will be auctioned off in October 2003. The proceeds will benefit the two sponsoring organizations, the Burchfield-Penney Art Center and the Materials Re-use Project, as well as the artists themselves.