About Hertel Walls
Hertel Walls is a public art project started in 2017 by Delaware District Councilmember Joel Feroleto and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. This project is dedicated to showcasing all of the beautiful murals on Hertel Avenue with a mission to increase foot traffic in the vibrant Hertel community. The first mural to kick off this project was the “Magic Buffalo” mural by Bunnie Reiss, located on Joe’s Deli. This mural kicked off the project’s continuous growth as other local businesses and residents desired more murals on Hertel Ave.
Located at 1322 Hertel Avenue, Bunnie Reiss’s mural for Joe’s Deli, entitled Magic Buffalo, features her signature interweaving of dreamlike imagery and mythological themes with delicate geometric tracery. Her work is influenced by her Polish and Russian heritage—especially Poland’s brightly colored folk art and the magical worlds of Russian fairytales—as well as her interest in unseen histories and our connection to animals and nature. The artist has commented, “I was raised in Colorado, with the blue skies and different colors of grass, flowers blooming—that vivid scenery also had an influence on me. I think the combination of those things has finally bubbled up to the surface. So much of art is about investigating yourself and your community.”
Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote
This mural celebrates nostalgia for cartoons, video games, and other imaginative preoccupations of youth. Its title, weego, comes from a pseudonym that the Buffalo-based artist Chuck Tingley and his painting partner, Cincinnati-based artist Matt Grote (a.k.a. OGRE), developed for their collaborative projects.
The imagery of this hot-air balloon fleet was inspired by the classic Nintendo, arcade, and puzzle-based board games of the artists’ childhoods. Tingley and Grote were particularly interested in how these play-based scenarios offered opportunities to escape to an alternate world, taking you away to a space that is more imaginative and immersive. As adults, they retrospectively realized the value of the childlike wonder spurred by these games and playing together. Their design is an attempt to reclaim humor, whimsy, and fun as having the same power to transform our everyday lives that great art does.
The Buffalo Map was devised and designed by Mario Zucca in 2016 as part of his ongoing personal series of intricately drawn city maps. Its original intended purpose was to be reproduced and sold as 36″ x 24″ limited edition offset prints through the artist’s online store and portfolio site, mariozuccamaps.com. The mural came about as a result of Rory Allen, of Zoomcopy.com, seeing the image and acting as a liaison between the artist and owners of MVP Network Consulting, while working in conjunction with Buffalo City Councilman Joel Feroleto to secure funding to license the image and reproduce it large scale. The mural was printed and installed by Allen and his team at Zoom in August of 2017.
We Are Here
We Are Here
Buffalo-based graphic design firm White Bicycle’s mural We Are Here is a dynamic take on a map of this North Buffalo neighborhood, roughly bordered in this rendering by Taunton Place and Linden, Elmwood, and Parker Avenues. At a distance, the word “we” subtly emerges in shades of yellow and orange. This symbolic gesture suggests a vision of community based in equal parts shared and distinct identities, a space where we honor our common values even as we celebrate what makes us different. It is these connections that build the character, strength, and resiliency of our region. The composition also harkens to the designs of the Roycroft community based in East Aurora, southeast of the city, in the early twentieth century and the stained glass common to churches throughout Buffalo.
Casey William Milbrand
The “Lookin’ Good” mural located at 1472 Hertel Avenue was conceived by Buffalo-based artist Casey William Milbrand, who worked side by side with the North Buffalo Organization to make his vision come to life. Casey thinks the new mural comes at a perfect time for the community, and with so many other murals popping up along Hertel Avenue, it’s plain to see that our resurgent city is truly lookin’ good! Casey created his own typography that appears to be riding a colorful retro wave of momentum, which is meant to celebrate the old and new projects that are fueling North Buffalo’s success. Also, the mural’s vibrant color palette is an homage to a beloved icon of Hertel Avenue – the historic North Park Theatre marquee. As with his other Buffalo projects, Casey hopes this mural will inspire Buffalonians to keep their own personal passion projects moving forward.
Gord Downie Mural
Gord Downie Mural
Rory Allen of Zoomcopy.com
Located at 1669 Hertel Avenue, the Gord Downie Mural was designed and installed by graphic artist Rory Allen as tribute to the late musician Gord Downie of the Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip. The lyrics “NO DRESS REHEARSAL, THIS IS OUR LIFE,” are from The Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century”.
Allen completed the Gord Downie Mural only weeks before Downie’s passing from terminal brain cancer. The mural became a memorial for thousands of Western NY Hip fans the weeks after his passing. Downie had a mutually special relationship with Buffalo mostly because of the band’s enormous popularity in the Western New York music scene. The Hip was often referred to as Canada’s unofficial rock band, and adored by millions of Canadians. An adoration also shared by tens of thousands of Western New Yorkers.
Goo Goo Dolls Mural
Goo Goo Dolls Mural
In the Spring of 1983, after living for 5 1/2 years in the West Village in Manhattan, Philip Burke had established a reputation as a young daring caricaturist with a strong bite. Due to an exclusive contract with the newly reborn VANITY FAIR magazine, Philip suddenly had the freedom and funds to start painting and flee from the city – just as the punks stopped screaming. Although he never expected to return home to Buffalo when the time came to leave NY, Philip had fallen in love with a woman here who introduced him to the practice of the true Buddhism of Nichiren Shoshu, and she was not about to leave.
Once back here, Philip saw the beauty and felt the warmth in Buffalo that he had missed before leaving for NY.
Hertel Street Art Festival
Hertel Street Art Festival
The Hertel Alley Street Art Festival was started in 2019 by Councilmember Joel Feroleto, Newell Nussbaumer, and Vinny Alejandro, of Urban Inspirations. Hertel Alley is three blocks long located between Traymore and Colvin parallel to Hertel Avenue. This public art festival, expanded the Hertel Walls project and cleaned up the alley to create a fun and safe space for people to visit in North Buffalo. The festival produced over 20 murals along the alley that City of Buffalo residents can now enjoy.
In designing his mural for 1188 Hertel Avenue, São Paulo-based artist Kobra immersed himself in Western New York’s history. During his research, he found himself drawn to the legacy of one of the region’s most famous residents, Mark Twain, and his perhaps less well-known—but nonetheless significant—friendship with John T. Lewis.
The “Welcome to Hertel” mural is a part of graffiti artist Vincent Alejandro’s neighborhood postcard series that he has been doing around Buffalo. He has had a passion for graffiti art ever since he was younger. He regularly attends graffiti festivals across the US and hosts two of his own, The Hertel Alley Street Art Festival and Paint vs Paint, that take place here in Buffalo, NY. His goal is to expand the boundaries of what a spray can, can do and how people view that medium.