Buffalo artist Nicole Cherry & Rigidized Metal’s work BUF installed as permanent waterfront exhibit
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. (ECHDC) and Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) announced the unveiling of a new permanent sculpture at Canalside. The piece, called BUF, was installed on Marine Drive, near the Hanover intersection.
A press release stated, “The steel 3-D letters, 5 feet tall and weighing more than 1,000 pounds, represent the waterfront’s latest piece of public art located and is sure to create many Instragrammable moments.”
It was designed and fabricated by Rigidized Metals, then painted by Buffalo artist Nicole Cherry.
“Buffalonians are proud of their city, so we expect the BUF sculpture at Canalside to quickly become a popular selfie site,” ECHDC Board Chair Joan Kesner said. “We have seen how prominent pieces of public art enhance the millions of dollars Gov. Hochul has invested in the waterfront. I encourage families to take their holiday pictures by the new sculpture then head to the ice to say hello to Shark Girl and enjoy some time skating, riding the ice bikes, sipping hot chocolate, and taking in the holiday lights.”
Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler said, "Visit Buffalo Niagara is thrilled to have played a part in bringing another piece of public art to our waterfront. We hope the BUF sign becomes an iconic gathering spot for Buffalonians who love their hometown, as well as a must-see stop for visitors who want to share fun content on their social feeds. No matter who you are or where you're from, we hope you enjoy this exciting new art installation."
ECHDC co-funded the $28,950 sculpture project with Visit Buffalo Niagara. VBN received a grant from the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor in preparation for the incoming Worlds Canal Conference in September 2025.
“This sculpture will provide both residents and visitors alike another wonderful reason to enjoy Buffalo's legendary waterfront,” Erie Canalway Executive Director Bob Radliff said. “We are proud to partner with Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., two organizations that are making great things happen at Canalside and for all New Yorkers.”
Artist Nicole 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 in 2010, Cherry has expanded her portfolio to create indoor and outdoor installations for numerous local institutions, including work at General Mills, Undergrounds Coffee House, and Elmwood Pet Supplies.
The press stated, “She believes strongly that public art that is freely accessible adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities, while enhancing quality of life.”
The BUF sculpture was fabricated at Rigidized Metals Corp., a Buffalo company located less than a mile from Canalside that is a leader in the development and production of deep-textured, 3-D engineered metal surfaces used in architectural, industrial and transportation applications.
The new sculpture has been installed just in time for the winter season of family activities at the Ice at Canalside. The Shark Girl sculpture, located by the ice for nearly a decade, has been a popular piece of public art. Visitors interested in more of a hike can also head out to the Outer Harbor to see Round Man, a sculpture currently on loan from the Griffiss Sculpture Park.
For the latest updates to the waterfront winter schedule, visit https://buffalowaterfront.com.