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Bunnie Reiss

American, born 1975

Bunnie Reiss (American, born 1975), Magic Buffalo 2.0, 2022/2017. Photo: Jeff Mace for Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Magic Buffalo 2.0,

Public Artwork Details

Currently on View

Materials:

Acrylic paint

Credit:

Commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Public Art Initiative, 2017

Location: Joe’s Deli at 1322 Hertel Avenue (Get Directions)

In 2017, Bunnie Reiss created Magic Buffalo on Joe’s Deli on Hertel Avenue, a work that featured her signature interweaving of dreamlike imagery and mythological themes with delicate geometric tracery. Almost overnight becoming beloved of its Western New York community, the mural on the building’s west-facing side was damaged by weather in the intervening years. In 2022, therefore, Reiss returned to Buffalo to complete a new mural, Magic Buffalo 2.0. Visitors can now see her 2017 mural on the east-facing, Colvin Avenue side of Joe’s Deli and her new mural on the building’s west side—and see the changes in Reiss’s rich imagery in the years between.

Reiss’s 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."

Reiss aims to bring people together with her work. She is determined to create spaces where people feel safe and can imagine a world that is beautiful and gentle. The artist has said:

“I want people to feel good when they’re looking at my work, to simply have a nice emotional response. Mural painting has a real function in a community. It beautifies neighborhoods, shares stories, encourages people to interact and gather, helps people slow down their busy lives. Murals reach a large demographic because they’re accessible and free to everybody. The public has a right to beautiful things.”

Bunnie Reiss Returns to Buffalo

Two women at left wearing blue latex gloves polish copper etching plates on a table covered with newsprint
Rachel Shelton (left) and Mizin Shin, two of the co-founders of Mirabo Press.

Reiss's return to Buffalo in 2022 has also seen her working Mirabo Press, a printmaking studio founded by Bob Fleming, Rachel Shelton, and Mizin Shin that offers hand-crafted, limited edition printmaking. Reiss is collaborating with Mirabo to produce a suite of multi-layer screenprints based on her collages of vintage Buffalo ephemera—scraps of paintings, wallpaper samples, and other collected items—bringing her uniquely West Coast sensibility to the Rust Belt.

About Bunnie Reiss

Weaving together whimsical and fantastical narratives, Bunnie Reiss is a natural storyteller seeking to create work inspired by and filled with magic, imagination, and a love of nature. Reiss spent much of her career in the Bay Area before recently moving to Los Angeles. Since relocating, Reiss has inaugurated more than 14 mural projects in the area. “Painting murals is my favorite thing to do,” says the artist.

Project Sponsors

This mural has been made possible in part by the City of Buffalo and Council Member Joel Feroleto. Additional support has been provided by Joe’s Deli.

Public Art mural projects are generously underwritten by the New Era Cap Foundation.

Initiative Sponsors

The Public Art Initiative was established and is supported by leadership funding from the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.

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    Public Art

    Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote's weego

    Check out Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote's weego, 2018, a few blocks east at 1503 Hertel Avenue.