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AK Public Art Initiative Unveils New Mural at Joe’s Deli

Friday, June 23, 2017

Buffalo, NY – Today the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative unveiled a new mural by artist Bunnie Reiss (American, born 1975) on the east and west facades of Joe’s Deli at 1322 Hertel Avenue. The work features the artist’s signature dreamlike imagery interspersed with geometric and mythological themes. Support for this and all other Public Art Initiative murals through the summer of 2018 has been provided by the New Era Cap Foundation.

“Partnering with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on this initiative aligns with the core mission of our Foundation,” said Chris Koch, President of the New Era Cap Foundation. “These public murals spark dialogue, inspire neighborhoods, and generate positive energy in our communities.”

Reiss creates work designed to bring people together. Materials, community, cultures, experiences, the past, and the present are all part of her visual catalogue. Weaving together whimsical and fantastical narratives, she is a natural storyteller seeking to create work inspired by and filled with magic, imagination, and a love of nature. 

She says, “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.”

“The Public Art Initiative is thrilled to welcome Bunnie Reiss, a trailblazing West Coast artist, to produce her first mural in the region,” said Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott. “Her colorful, fun, and energetic style will be a wonderful addition to our growing list of projects, and continues the Initiative’s ongoing mission of making art that is truly accessible for all.”

Reiss works both solo and with other artists from around the world. Her art is influenced by her Polish and Russian heritage and her interest in unseen histories. After spending her formative years in the Bay Area, Reiss has recently taken Los Angeles by storm, introducing more than fourteen murals in a short amount of time in an urban landscape new to mural arts.

The Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the Albright-Knox and Erie County established in 2013. The City of Buffalo joined the partnership in 2014. The goal of the Initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to engage socially, actively respond, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center.

Other recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects include Shantell Martin’s mural Dance Everyday at 537 East Delavan Avenue; Daniel Galas’s mural 72 Jewett at 74 Jewett Avenue; Amanda Browder’s installation Spectral Locus at three separate locations throughout Buffalo during the summer of 2016; Alice Mizrachi’s mural Dream Keepers at the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology; Roberley Bell’s installation Locus Amoenus at the Tifft Nature Preserve; Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn’s mural Noodle in the Northern Lights at Shea’s 710 Theatre; Kaarina Kaikkonen’s installation We Share a Dream, at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport; Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons and ReWilding New York (Community Seed Stations), a two-fold work that took place over the summer of 2015; Shayne Dark’s 2015 exhibition Natural Conditions and residency at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; Jaume Plensa’s Silent Poets, on view through October 2017 at Canalside; Casey Riordan's Shark Girl; Tape Art’s Buffalo Caverns, a massive, temporary mural made with low-adhesive drawing tape on the north wall of the Central Library branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; a billboard- and sticker-based iteration of Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful project, made possible in part through a partnership with Lamar Advertising; and Charles Clough’s collaboratively produced Hamburg Arena Painting, which is installed in the newly constructed wing of the Hamburg Public Library. The Public Art Initiative has also distributed 30,000 art kits to students throughout Erie County.

This mural has been made possible in part by the City of Buffalo and Councilmember Joel Feroleto. Additional support has been provided by Joe’s Deli. AK Public Art Mural projects are generously underwritten by the New Era Cap Foundation. The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.