How C2 is Adding Color to Communities
An Artful Approach
C2 Paint has always held a profound appreciation for artistry, one of the pillars of their brand, and the basis of their full spectrum color approach. By supporting local artists, they are helping to beautify several communities throughout America.
In their hometown of Buffalo, NY, C2 has teamed up with the Albright Knox Museum to provide paint for their Public Art Initiative, an innovative partnership designed to enhance a shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York.
"Our brand was inspired by the beauty of nature and the arts. By supporting our local artists, we can encourage creativity and add color to create vibrant communities" - Tom Hill, C2 Paint
The Albright Knox Public Art Initiative presents artists from around the region, nation, and world working in varied forms of media, from traditional to forward-thinking interactions, sculpture to performance, and the permanent to the ephemeral.
The goal of the Initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities have the ability to produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating stronger neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center. – Aaron Ott, Albright Knox Museum
Artist: Tavar Zawaki
Location: 1665 Main Street
At the time of its completion, Metamorphosis #5 was the largest mural of Tavar Zawacki’s career and in the whole of Western New York. The vibrant pattern of vividly colored overlapping and interweaving forms—visible for blocks on this stretch of Main Street—is based on Zawacki’s signature artistic motif: the upward arrow.
At the age of 19, Zawacki—who had been casually interested in graffiti since his early teen years—bought a one-way plane ticket to Paris, driven to “rise above” his fears and dedicate himself completely to becoming a street artist. While he initially channeled this spirit into the tag ABOVE, Zawacki soon gravitated toward the upward arrow as a more universal expression, as he as explained, “of the powerful mentality to rise above fears, challenges, and anything holding you back from your goals. . . . everything is possible!” In the context of 1665 Main Street, this imagery and the idea of metamorphosis, or dynamic transformation, resonates with the resurgence of the greater Buffalo region and ongoing positive economic and cultural developments in the East Side neighborhoods nearby.
1800s Bikes in Vines
Artist: Nicole Cherry
Location: 1330 Niagra Street
In her mural for 1330 Niagara Street, Buffalo-based artist Nicole Cherry combines her signature eye for color and pattern with imagery inspired by the building’s future occupant: a bicycle shop. Cherry, a citizen of the Cayuga nation, began painting murals inside family and friends’ homes when she was still in high school. Since graduating from Buffalo State College, Cherry has expanded her practice to create indoor and outdoor installations for numerous local institutions, including Undergrounds Coffee House and Roastery in Buffalo’s Historic Old First Ward neighborhood, and Elmwood Pet Supplies on Elmwood Avenue.
Wildflowers for Buffalo, 2018
Artist: Louise Jones
Location: 465 Washington Street
The floral motifs artist Louise Jones incorporated into Wildflowers for Buffalo were inspired by the local landscape. Based on conversations with horticulturists and on her own research, Jones identified a number of plants native to the region as the basis for this mural; these include (from top left to bottom): red clover, coneflower (echinacea), burdock, chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, thistle, lamb’s quarters, swamp rose, and yarrow. The artist was drawn to these species not only for their connection to the Buffalo region but also for their role in herbal medicine traditions as aides for bringing about well-being. Later, she supplemented this selection of flora with what she called “special cultivated guests”: strawflowers and pussy willows that she encountered thriving on a farm in Eden. At 80 feet tall by 160 feet wide, Wildflowers for Buffalo is the largest mural of Jones’s career and the largest AK Public Art Initiative mural to date.
Watch the Video:
Our Colors Make Us Beautiful
Artist: Muhammad Zaman
Location: 1131 Broadway
Buried in the layers of calligraphic forms at the center of this mural is its poetic title: Our Colors Make Us Beautiful. Artist Muhammad Zaman’s wide-ranging projects—from works on paper and paintings to this mural, his largest work to date—are all grounded in language. His compositions come together through an organic accumulation of thought fragments in the three languages that inform his identity: English, the language of his adopted home; Bengali, the language of his homeland; and Arabic, the language of his religion. Here, these messages peek through abstract passages of interwoven paint. In Our Colors Make Us Beautiful, Zaman explores the possibilities of verbal and visual expression to bring about mutual understanding and empathy among people from diverse walks of life.
Watch the Video:
Work and Play
Artist: Otecki (Wojciech Kołacz)
Location: 617 Fillmore Avenue
Wrocław, Poland–based artist Otecki (Wojciech Kołacz) has created an installation, Work and Play, that significantly adds to the cultural landscape of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, historically settled and established by many Polish families; today, Buffalo is home to the second-largest Polish population in the United States. The location is directly across the street from Torn Space Theater, which is housed in the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle.
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 and is fond of presenting dualistic worlds and characters; especially human-animal combinations that are “part majesty and part mystery,” as the artist puts it.
Watch the Video:
Artists: Chuck Tingley and Matt Grote
Location: 1503 Hertel Avenue
This mural celebrates nostalgia for cartoons, video games, and other imaginative preoccupations of youth. Its title, weego, comes from a pseudonym that the Buffalo-based artist Chuck Tingley and his painting partner, Cincinnati-based artist Matt Grote (a.k.a. OGRE), developed for their collaborative projects.
The imagery of this hot-air balloon fleet was inspired by the classic Nintendo, arcade, and puzzle-based board games of the artists’ childhoods. Tingley and Grote were particularly interested in how these play-based scenarios offered opportunities to escape to an alternate world, taking you away to a space that is more imaginative and immersive. As adults, they retrospectively realized the value of the childlike wonder spurred by these games and playing together. Their design is an attempt to reclaim humor, whimsy, and fun as having the same power to transform our everyday lives that great art does.
Watch the Video:
We Are Here
Artist: White Bicycle
Location: 1260 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo-based graphic design firm White Bicycle’s mural "We Are Here" is a dynamic take on a map of this North Buffalo neighborhood, roughly bordered in this rendering by Taunton Place and Linden, Elmwood, and Parker Avenues. At a distance, the word “we” subtly emerges in shades of yellow and orange. This symbolic gesture suggests a vision of community-based in equal parts shared and distinct identities, a space where we honor our common values even as we celebrate what makes us different. It is these connections that build the character, strength, and resiliency of our region. The composition also harkens to the designs of the Roycroft community-based in East Aurora, southeast of the city, in the early twentieth century and the stained glass common to churches throughout Buffalo.
244 Dewitt Street (working title), 2019 (Coming Soon!)
Artist: Hillary Waters Fayle
Location: 244 Dewitt Street
Buffalo-born and Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle’s mural for 244 Dewitt Street celebrates both the 25th anniversary of Garden Walk Buffalo as well as the everyday connection between local residents and our natural surroundings. As part of Garden Walk Buffalo 2019, Fayle collaborated with community members to create cyanotypes—contact prints created using sun-sensitive paper—based on local plants. Copies of these images will serve as the inspiration for the artist’s Dewitt Street mural, which is currently taking shape.
I want to salvage and revive our individual and collective connection to the natural world. . . . [using] found botanical and organic material . . . to symbolically bind nature and the human touch. -- Hillary Fayle
The plants in a garden support one another,” she explains, “and they work together to create a unified community. We can use that metaphor to talk about our own communities and to celebrate the beauty in our diversity.”
To learn more about this incredible local art initiative click HERE.
Enhancing Communities Through Restoration
Many C2 Paint partners use their expertise and resources to ignite positive changes in their communities in a variety of ways, from educational programs to sponsorships, charities or in this case, restoration.
The name Harry Adler is a household name in the town of Providence, Rhode Island. A founding partner of C2 Paint, his family has owned one of the most beloved businesses in the area, Adler’s Hardware for nearly a century.
When Woodrow Wilson was president, we were here. When women gained the right to vote, we were here. When man first walked on the moon, we were here. We've survived the Great Depression, Y2K and even the Big Box stores. - Harry Adler
Adler’s is actively involved in a number of downtown restoration projects; most recently, a major reconstruction of a beloved and dilapidated home called The Wedding Cake House. The building was recently acquired by a progressive art group called The Dirt Palace so they could revitalize the home and the neighborhood.
The Wedding Cake House project will ground innovation and creative entrepreneurship in a historical context by building out a site that connects the region’s history of design and textile manufacturing to current practices in arts and design fields, while showcasing Rhode Island as a place steeped in design thinking and visionary approaches. – The Dirt Palace
Built in a very elaborate Italianate Style, the “Wedding Cake House” is Providence’s consummate “gingerbread” house. The Kendrick-Prentice-Tirocchi House was probably built and designed in 1867 by Broadway resident Perez Mason. Built for John Kendrick, a manufacturer of loom harnesses, important to 19th-century textile production, it became the home of buttonhook manufacturer and street-railway tycoon George W. Prentice in the early 1880s.
The dress-designing and making Tirocchi sisters lived here for much of the 20th-century and are the homes most significant occupants. Anna Tirocchi and Laura Tirocchi Cella operated A. & L. Tirocchi, as dressmaking shop, in 514 Broadway from 1915 to 1947, catering to wealthy clients, many of whom were wives and daughters of the newly successful industrialists from Providence and Fall River. (source Wikipedia).
The house was vacant from 1947 until 1982, and is not yet in livable condition. The current restoration will finally remove it from the Most Endangered Properties list.
We plan to provide exterior paint, as this will no doubt be an extremely visible project. The community is very grateful that this property is getting the attention it deserves so we are happy to be a part of that process. – Harry Adler
Click here to check the status of this ambitious restoration!