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Library mural first of many planned public artworks

Ashley Hirtzel

A new public art piece is being constructed outside the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The mural is one of several that will be put up as part of an Albright-Knox Art Gallery initiative across Erie County. A public art project is expected to be installed at Canalside over the next few weeks.

The temporary artwork called Buffalo Caverns is made entirely out of painter’s tape. The textured work will extend the marble wall and onto the main building of the downtown library. It shows people navigating their way through a cavern with flashlights.

Tape Art Executive Director Kristen Carbone says four artists will be working until Thursday to complete the project. She says the mural correlates the relationship between literacy and art.

“We have created a style of drawing that anyone can read, anyone in any culture. We travel the world and do these murals and everyone responds to them

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
'Buffalo Caverns' being installed on the marble wall outside the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

differently based on their own upbringing, their own culture, but there’s nothing exclusive about what we do, there’s nothing alienating and it’s really visible. It’s a visual literacy. It’s a whole separate language that is easily read, because there is human in every drawing doing things that you can really identify with,” said Carbone.

Albright-Knox Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott says he believes public art is crucial as it brings the community together.

“With a wall like this it’s no longer a marble wall, it’s a piece of art. It shows the community the potential of

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Artists work on public mural made of painter's tape.

all the spaces around them. So, once they start seeing this wall as no longer something that they walk by, but something that they want to interact with, and then they start to think about all of the other spaces in their community as places of art,” said Ott.

The drawing will be on display outside the downtown Library until Friday, August 29. The public will be invited to help take the piece down when the viewing ends.