Buffalo has truly blossomed over the past decade, and one of the most notable transformations has taken place in North Buffalo, on Hertel Avenue. A street that was primarily known as “Little Italy” is now an eclectic neighborhood which showcases a diverse range of eateries, stores and more. While Hertel Avenue is known for its great places to eat and drink, with many places like Pastry by Camille, New Jewel of India, Lloyd Taco Factory, La Keuva, and more still serving takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 health crisis, the thing most people will first notice on Hertel Avenue is the explosive art scene!
Just over the last few years, Hertel has been graced with dozens of new murals, which match the exciting energy of this evolving neighborhood. This can also be felt city-wide, as many massive pieces of new public art have been recently added to Buffalo buildings. Most of the brilliant murals here are part of the Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative, which has been described as an “innovative partnership designed to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in Western New York”.
Four of those murals are now major staples on Hertel Avenue! This includes Bunnie Reiss’s 2017 Magic Buffalo (1322 Hertel Ave), White Bicycle’s 2018 We Are Here (1260 Hertel Ave), Chuck Tingley & Matt Grote’s 2018 piece weego (1503 Hertel Ave), and most recently, Eduardo Kobra’s 2019 Untitled portrait of Mark Twain and John T. Lewis (1188 Hertel Ave).
As you wander, you’ll find even more treasures tucked into the streets of Hertel, including tributes to musicians like Gord Downie (1669 Hertel) and Philip Burke’s 2019 portrait of The Goo Goo Dolls (1212 Hertel).
Another new hot spot that should not be missed is the 2019 addition of Hertel Alley. Sponsored by Councilmember Joel Feroleto and The Hertel Business Association, in collaboration with over 20 artists, the once-desolate alley now boasts blocks of colorful fun for visitors to enjoy while Instagramming their hearts out. You can find this one-way alley running parallel to the main drag, between Traymore & Colvin.
So if you’re looking to take a relaxing stroll while soaking in works by local and world-renowned artists, Hertel needs to be on your list!
Check out a gallery of Hertel Avenue’s amazing public artworks below: