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Effort underway to restore, create public art in Buffalo

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

There may soon be more public art works around Buffalo as City Hall continues its work to repair existing installations.The city is filled with outside public art, most from the city or donated to the city, and some from the NFTA for the Metro Rail. Because much of the art is outside, it is subject to our weather, which is a constant problem.

Councilmember Michael LoCurto is praising Mayor Byron Brown for financing repairs of existing art, including statues and monuments.

LoCurto says the Common Council is reminding the administration that the city's charter requires it to spend one percent of projects over $1 million on art. He says local artists and art lovers have been lobbying City Hall to start doing it again after a long moratorium

"People forgot that was in the Charter, at least in the Public Works Department. The Arts Commission had brought this up. I know the arts community had often been talking about it. So, it felt like a good time to make sure that law that was in the charter was enforced," says LoCurto.

LoCurto says one early sign of the renewed interest in art will be on Main Street where cars are gradually returning and there will be public art as part of the project. He says the statues of former Presidents Grover Cleveland and Millard Fillmore in front of City Hall show what can be done to restore historic monuments.

The councilman says the last city art works were those at the police station at Main and Tupper and Merriweather Library at Jefferson and Utica.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.