There is a belief that signature artwork in downtown Buffalo's Canalside development district could have the same transformative impact that some of the bricks-and-mortar efforts inside the 20-acre site.
And, who creates that artwork could be known and determined by next spring.
Louis Grachos, Albright-Knox Art Gallery executive director and pointman for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.'s public art component in Canalside, said he'd like to have a shortlist of five artists pinpointed by early next year. It will be up to the artists to determine what shape and form the public art will take.
Grachos said he wants to use public art in Chicago's Millennium Park as the benchmark. That work is created with bringing in a steady influx of visitors, something Grachos said he hopes happens in downtown Buffalo.
"We want to create a dynamic," Grachos said. "We want the iconic image. The goal is to bring world class artists to the waterfront."
Grachos said he hopes the artists not only play off of the water and Buffalo's noted architecture but also such landmarks near Canalside as grain elevators or the Buffalo Skyway, which hovers over a significant portion of the Canalside footprint.
"We want excellent work, but we also want something that makes sense for the waterfront," Grachos said.