The 2023 Hertel Alley Mural Fest took place last month, transforming the vibrant Buffalo neighborhood into an open-air art gallery. This annual event brought together local artists that created original murals in celebration of diversity, creativity, and community.
The Hertel Alley Mural Fest placed a strong emphasis on local talent. Buffalo-based artists had the opportunity to showcase their skills and make their mark on the city’s art scene. These talented individuals infused their murals with elements of Buffalo’s rich history, culture, and iconic landmarks, creating a sense of pride and connection within the community.
More than one hundred artists applied to participate in the festival, and 26 were selected. Among them was Tay Morris, a 2018 graduate of Villa Maria’s animation program.
Morris’ mural was inspired by her own personal art style. She mainly paints with bright, vibrant colors because, in her own words, “what’s life without brightness?” She also picked the vibrant color scheme because she feels people are naturally drawn to bold colors. Her mural, entitled, “I’m Hungry,” is so-called because of the many Buffalonians who told them her work made them hungry as they passed by. Uniquely, Morris and the other participating artists painted their work live, as festival attendees watched.
Her dynamic color choice and intricately detailed mural helped to breathe new life onto the walls in “Hertel Alley.” Hertel Alley is a 3-block stretch between Traymore Street and Colvin Avenue, parallel to Hertel Avenue. It runs behind the businesses from 1225 and 1031 Hertel Avenue.
The work from this year’s festival will remain in place until next year’s festival, when it will be replaced by a new group of local artists.