6 Instagram-Worthy Murals in Buffalo NY
I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to literally anyone, but I love a good Instagram photo-op just as much as the next basic 22 year-old. So this week, I set out to soak up the beautiful weather and explore the city to track down and round up my favorite street art murals around Buffalo!
Full disclaimer: these obviously are not the only murals in the city- there are SO many more out there to explore- these were just some of my personal favorites. Would love to hear which ones you like and what your own personal favorites are, too!
1) MAGIC BUFFALO – 1322 HERTEL AVE
Situated on the corner of Colvin and Hertel, “Magic Buffalo” brings a playful pop of color to the side of Joe’s Deli on Hertel, and stretches to the other side of the building by the bus stop. Heavily influenced by the artist's Polish and Russian heritage, the piece incorporates a lot of playful and dream-like colors and themes, which the artist connects back to Polish folk art and Russian fairytales.
I promise the colors on both sides of the building are actually the same in person. That's what happens when you take pictures while the sun is still rising.
Pro tip: You may want to check it out earlier in the morning before the parking lot in front of it fills up and blocks the bottom of it. Otherwise you’ll probably have a red Mustang annoyingly photo-bombing the cuteness and you’ll have to come back the next morning. Be better than me.
2) “BUFFALO MAP” – 1297 HERTEL AVE
After hitting up Magic Buffalo, if you literally just turn completely around and then look to your left a little bit, you’ll see “Buffalo Map,” which lives on the side of MVP Network Consulting on Hertel. It’s pretty high up, so you won’t be able to necessarily stand right next to it for a picture- but still a great photo-op.
What really makes this piece for me is all the cute Buffalo details the artist was able to capture- from the Shea’s sign to UB’s North Campus to shark girl at Canalside- see how many hidden gems you can spot!
Read more about this piece here.
3) “WELCOME WALL” – 751 FILLMORE AVE
This massive, colorful wall is hands-down my favorite piece on this list. Right on the corner of Fillmore and Broadway near the Broadway Market, this incredible mural brings the word “welcome” to life on the side of an abandoned building through the use of bright colors and 13 different languages: Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, English, Farsi, French, German, Polish, Seneca, Spanish, Somali, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
The colors are absolutely gorgeous, and the message of cultural diversity and inclusion is beautiful- just do yourself a favor and go see it in person. It’s truly amazing.
4) “VOYAGE” – 224 ALLEN STREET
“Voyage” is a piece that is not only strikingly beautiful just at first glance, but also holds a beautiful and special underlying meaning.
This piece can be found on the side wall of Glow Gallery and In The Loop on Allen Street. According to the artist, “the mural was inspired by people’s intrinsic nature to overcome adversity in the face of race and gender bias. The androgynous boater perseveres through life, as he/she is led by the light from a lighthouse that is synonymous with an ‘inner light.’”
That quote is from an article about the mural written back in 2014, and was just so eloquent and fitting that I wasn’t even going to try to one-up it in my own words.
What I do want to point out, though, is a little hidden gem of the piece- the boater's earring is actually a transgender symbol- see if you can spot it! Couple that little easter egg with the bright rainbow colors utilized throughout the piece that represent the gay/LGBT pride flag’s colors, along with the dedication of the piece to “Buffalo’s LGBT community and it’s allies,” and this beautiful mural proves to hold so much more weight to it than just your average pretty Instagram photo-op. Definitely still going to Instagram it regardless, though.
Click here to get a better view of the boater's earring.
5) NIETZSCHE MURAL – 248 ALLEN STREET
My apologies for the not-so-great picture of this one- this one is another one you’re gonna want to hit earlier in the morning before cars start parking in front of it, even though it’s slightly hard for me to believe that Allen is ever not busy.
This piece lives right on the side of Nietzche's on Allen, and if you live in Buffalo and haven't heard of Nietzche's I just want to know if you live under a rock? But definitely check it out if you haven't already- they have live music almost every night, with a lot of them from the local music scene here in Buffalo. It's cash only though, if you do go (you're welcome). Can't tell you how many times I've forgotten that little detail and then my friends have had to come to my rescue (gotta love Venmo).
Short, sweet and right to the point for this mural. Couldn’t find too much online regarding who the artist is/about the piece- if anyone has any info feel free to reach out and I’d love to incorporate it!
6) “GREETINGS FROM BUFFALO” – 461 ELLICOTT ST
Last but certainly not least- of course I had to include the insta-famous #GreetingsFromBuffalo mural that can be found on the side of the Washington Market’s building on Ellicott. Everyone knows someone or has that one friend or co-worker or friend of a friend that has a super cute picture with this mural, and let’s face it- you know you want one, too. Just think of all the likes you’ll get.
This mural honestly has a really great location- it’s sort of secluded in a little alley that separates you from the walkway just enough so it’s not as awkward for you while you’re taking pictures in public. Still awkward, but just not as awkward. Matt and I went at like, 7:30pm on a weekday night and it was hardly busy at all. Plus we went to Dinosaur BBQ after so like, why wouldn’t you go?
Read more about this piece without me getting sidetracked and talking about food here.
So When Are You Going Mural Hunting Next??
While I might be a super basic white girl scouring the city for murals mostly just for cute pics I can post online, it was still genuinely super fun to explore the city and track down these public art pieces to write this piece- regardless of whether or not you’re into Instagram, social media, and that sort of thing. Kind of like a treasure hunt I made for myself, if you will.
Also, it was pretty cool to feel like a tourist in my own city for a couple of days. I think that, in general, people tend to get so wrapped up in their everyday routines that they forget that you don’t have to travel far at all to discover and experience new things. Buffalo is cute, guys!!
Plus I got to pet some cute dogs while I was walking around and taking pictures so I mean, who’s the real winner here?