Buffalo, NY – Today the Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced that Shark Girl, the wildly popular public sculpture from the museum’s Public Art Initiative, will be temporarily removed from her location at Canalside Buffalo during the second week of October for some well-deserved pampering in the form of artwork conservation.
“Fear not, fans of Shark Girl, she will be returning in a matter of months, refreshed and renewed for early 2020 festivities,” said Albright-Knox Curator of Public Art Aaron Ott.
“Shark Girl is a beloved, whimsical year-round fixture at Canalside but needs some rejuvenation after flashing her toothy grin for so many selfies over the years,” said ECHDC Board Chairman Robert Gioia. “ECHDC’s agreement with the Albright-Knox for the repair and maintenance of Shark Girl will allow her to better handle interactions with all her fans, as well as to stand up to harsh Buffalo winters, for years to come. That said, we can’t wait until she returns!”
Shark Girl, 2013, created by artist Casey Riordan (American, born 1973), was among the first works to become part of the museum’s Public Art collection. The character appears in nearly all of the artist’s sculptures, drawings, and paintings, and has been described as “a blend of whimsy and alarm, half Lewis Carroll’s Alice, half great white shark.” The sculpture is made of fiberglass and has an accompanying seat in order for art lovers and sightseers to take pictures with her. She has rapidly become popular throughout Western New York and beyond.
The Albright-Knox’s Public Art Initiative is an innovative partnership between the museum and the County of Erie established in 2013 to enhance our shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. 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 socially engage with, actively respond to, 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.
Recent Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects include Hillary Waters Fayle’s mural Botanical Blueprint, 2019, at 244 Dewitt Street; Tavar Zawacki’s mural Metamorphosis #5, 2019, at 1665 Main Street; Eduardo Kobra’s mural Untitled, 2019, depicting Mark Twain and John T. Lewis, at 1188 Hertel Avenue; Augustina Droze's mural Green Kaleidoscope, 2019, at 2303 Main Street; Logan Hicks's muralWalking Back Time, 2019, on the Washington Street façade of 5 East Huron Street; Nicole Cherry's mural 1800s Bikes in Vines, 2019, at 1330 Niagara Street; and Felipe Pantone’s mural Optichromie—BUF, 2019, on the back of Town Ballroom. For a full list of Albright-Knox Public Art Initiative projects, visit www.albrightknox.org/akpublicart.
The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo.