In July of 2020, local artist Cassandra Ott was chosen to create a mural at 550 Seneca Street through a proposal competition administered through ASI. Building construction and COVID delayed plans to complete the mural as scheduled but Cassi’s vision has recently been completed and her work now welcomes visitors into Larkinville.
This was Cassi’s second mural project (the first can be seen at Revolver Records on Elmwood) and her largest work to date. The mural took just about a week and a half to complete, thanks to agreeable early summer weather.
The design inspiration came from old issues of “The Larkin Idea,” a publication of The Larkin Soap Company, which transformed the city of Buffalo into a booming industrial center in the late 1800’s. The Roycroft-era flourishes are familiar territory for Cassi who frequently features nature-inspired patterns in her custom design work.
Traditionally, Cassi works on a smaller, more intricate scale so this particular project engaged some new skills for Cassi, the largest of which included learning to drive the large boom lift! Learning from other local mural artists, she also experimented with using projections on the side of the building to complete the lettering to ensure uniform size and scale. Since the mural is 160 feet long, she was also able to use the windows of the Seneca Street building as a reference grid as she moved down the building.
Working out in the public was a thrill for Cassi, who really enjoys the idea of making art accessible for everyone. She notes, “I love museums and galleries but I know that they’re not always approachable or accessible for people. I love having art out in the public that anyone can see or view and the way that it can impact a neighborhood.”
The next time you head over to grab a bite at any of Larkinville’s great restaurants, look for Cassi’s mural at the intersections of Seneca and Hamburg. Check out Cassi’s other work at her website: http://www.cassandraott.com.