In 2017 Broadway Fillmore NHS (BFNHS) and the Albright Knox Art Gallery (AKAG) partnered on The Welcome Wall mural at 751 Fillmore. We received so much positive feedback that we immediately set to work on identifying a site for a second mural.
We have been focusing much of our energy and resources on redeveloping south Fillmore, in particular the section between Genesee and Peckham. With that in mind, we decided that a mural across the street from the Mickiewicz Library and Torn Space Theater (which is undergoing a major renovation) would be a great addition to our redevelopment plans. The former Polish Co-op Savings & Loan building at 617 Fillmore turned out to be the perfect location for the Polish artist Wojciech Kołacz to create Work and Play.
From the AKAG website: “Wojciech Kołacz, a.k.a. Otecki (Polish, born 1984), is an illustrator, printmaker, painter, and mural artist working in Wrocław, Poland. Otecki finds influence in Cubism, non-Western art, and Slavonic folklore. He is fond of presenting dualistic worlds and characters; especially human-animal combinations that are “part majesty and part mystery.”
Our hope is that the mural adds to the perception that the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood is once again becoming a desirable place to live, work and play.
We were able to pay most of the hard costs of the mural, using Better Buffalo Funds through the NYS Buffalo Main Street Initiative. Our thanks to ESD, NYSHCR, and of course our partners at AKAG, especially Aaron Ott and Eric Jones.