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Arts & Culture

Local artist working with property owners to paint murals

Photo from Buffalo Custom Art

A small group of local artists is joining the effort to stop blight by painting murals.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to Buffalo artist Amanda Hart who is leading this latest effort.

"Our Clinton Street mural is on Clinton and Fillmore. It's a girl standing in front of the Buffalo skyline pulling a pocket watch out of the sky," said Hart, creator of Buffalo Custom Art.  

The organization is made up of about five artists currently working with property owners who wants to cover up graffiti that was tagged on their building.  

At this point the organization has not directly reached out to the city of Buffalo.

"What we did is we went directly to the homeowners and asked them 'hey this an eyesore to the community, would it be okay if we painted on it?', and because it is their personal property, we got permission from them," said Hart.

Credit WBFO News file photo
Amanda Hart in WBFO studio

Hart said her group is also working with Community Canvases. It is a public art and community development initiative that's already working with the Buffalo Common Council and to turn blight into art.  That organization is hiring artists to paint signal boxes that are often tagged with graffitii. 

Hart's organization is working to cover up as much graffiti as possible. Hart tells WBFO News when she sees graffiti sprawled on a building she gets "frustrated."

"I feel that kids are bored with their surroundings, and I feel like if they get graffiti or a spray can, then they might as well make it productive, and if they want to learn how to do murals instead of tagging, that would be an amazing feet," said Hart.

Hart said big cities, like Los Angles, Houston and Philadelphia already have murals painted across their cities. She said it's time for Buffalo to jump on board. 

Hart said Buffalo Custom Art will also work with building owners to maintain the murals, and he group hopes to expand next into the city of Niagara Falls.