Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation - ECHDCBuffalo Artist Nicole Cherry and Rigidized Metal’s Work BUF Installed as Permanent Waterfront Exhibit

See picture of the sculpture here.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) today announced the unveiling of a new permanent sculpture at Canalside. The piece, which is called BUF, has been installed on Marine Drive, near the Hanover intersection. 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,” said ECHDC Board Chair Joan Kesner. “We have seen how prominent pieces of public art enhance the millions of dollars Governor 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.”

 Patrick Kaler, Visit Buffalo Niagara President & CEO 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 Sept 2025.

“This sculpture will provide both residents and visitors alike another wonderful reason to enjoy Buffalo's legendary waterfront,” said Erie Canalway Executive Director Bob Radliff. “We are proud to partner with Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, 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 murals at General Mills, Undergrounds Coffee House, and Elmwood Pet Supplies. 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 Corporation, a Buffalo company located less than a mile from Canalside that is a leader in the development and production of deep-textured, three-dimensional 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

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor. For more information on ECHDC, visit:

About Visit Buffalo Niagara

Visit Buffalo Niagara,, sells and markets our assets and attractions to visitors outside of the Buffalo Niagara region as a convention, tourism and leisure destination for the economic benefit of the community.