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Artist of the Week — Amanda Hart

July 9, 2013 by · 6 comments

Jasmina Tacheva Talks with Artist Amanda Hart

Amanda Hart

Hello, Amanda, would you introduce yourself?

My name is Amanda Hart, I am 23 years old, and I reside in Buffalo, NY. I am an outspoken member of the Buffalo art scene and am considered to be a prolific painter. I speak pretty good Japanese and in the future I would like to take my projects and programs abroad so other countries can get involved with beautification projects in rough spots in their city.

When and how did your path to becoming an artist start?

My passion for art started at the early age of 8. Back when I was in elementary school, my class had a rotating art teacher who would come by once a week and do an art project with the class with a woman named Mrs. Ferguson. I was infatuated with her artwork. It really drew me in artistically, she encouraged me and pushed me to continue drawing that entire year.

Amanda Hart

What is it like to be an artist in Buffalo?

Being an artist in Buffalo is great! Everything from the architecture, the people walking downtown and even the cracks in the sidewalk gives me such inspiration to paint. Everyone thinks Buffalo is a dying city, but I think it’s just the opposite. Buffalo is an evolving city full of culture and character, which as an artist, I embrace fully. The Buffalo community is supportive of artists, which adds to this thriving underground art scene.

Amanda Hart

Graffiti-tagged walls around Buffalo have started being brought back to life thanks to the lively murals of Buffalo Custom Art lately. Could you tell us a bit more about this initiative?

The Buffalo Custom Art Studio was located across from a garage that had graffiti all over it. I noticed that the area seemed so gray and unappealing. Not only that, but when people would come to take a look at some of my artwork, they would look at that tagged building and instantly assume they were in a bad area. Finally I approached the home owners about it and asked if it was okay if I painted over it. Once I painted over the graffiti with an illustration, the message became clear to me. There are other places in this city that could really use this. Places that get a bad rap because of old tag signs.

Buffalo Custom Art is a place where artists can come together to be placed in public art projects that beautify buffalo, some paid and some volunteer, based upon their portfolio and interests. We are also building a network of professional artists, who would be willing to teach art lessons to kids in the summer. We believe that the reason tagging happens is because kids are bored and they don’t have an outlet for their creativity. We want to teach them how to properly paint a mural.

Amanda Hart

What role do you think the artist should have in society?

The role of an artist is simple. If we can conceptualize our truest emotions onto canvas, on paper, through a photograph, on a dance floor, from our words or by building something, we have done our jobs as artists. They tell you it’s all about technique, but while there is some truth to that, in my opinion an artist can have all the techniques in the world, but if they can’t capture a feeling through their work or the person looking at their work doesn’t feel moved, then their job isn’t done.
We should be the pinnacles of capturing a moment.

What project are you currently working on?

Right now I am the artistic coordinator for ArtFarms Harvest Event this upcoming November, An Artist for Community Canvases ( the BCA and community canvases work pretty much hand in hand when it comes to projects ) And the BCA has started a beautify Niagara Falls Initiative.

ArtFarms Combines art and agriculture to create new activity in Buffalo’s East Side, we will be painting live murals for the Harvest Event, which will also unveil our newest innovation for sustainability and art.

Coming up this Month, Community Canvases has involved me with painting a signal box for their Tonawanda St. Blitz.

I am also working with Seth Picarello and Rick Crogan in Niagara Falls to beautify their city. Like Buffalo it could use a little bit of sprucing up. I am currently working on some sketches and some designs for a new mural, which will bring some color to the area.

We also have a few other surprises in store for this year 🙂

Amanda Hart

How does mural painting differ from other painting techniques?

I find that there is a lot more organization when it comes to painting a mural. You usually need some sort of scaffolding, the building needs to be washed and primed and there usually isn’t a whole lot of guesswork. Planning is key, you need to know exactly what you are doing because you start painting because there really is no room for error. Not only do murals require more organization, the physical labor involved when painting a mural is tremendous.

What makes a good painting?

To me, a good painting has a well-blended balance of techniques, emotion and personal style.

Amanda Hart

What is the most indispensable item in your studio?

In my studio I go through a lot of Paint Thinner. I work with all different types of paints, heavy body acrylic, oils, house paints even, and paint thinner can sometimes make effects on canvas you wouldn’t believe possible.

What are the factors that enable you to really flourish artistically?

I always tell people when they submit portfolios that they need to be well rounded, unique and have more than one type of medium.
I think part of the reason I am successful is because I will try any medium on any surface, whether it’s digital, oil stick, charcoal etc. etc. I think it is imperative to an artist that they go out of their comfort zone and try something they aren’t familiar with.

Amanda Hart
at the Niagara Falls Music and Art Festival

Do you have any tips for aspiring artists, especially the ones in the Buffalo area?

My advice to aspiring artists in buffalo is to believe in the unexpected and roll with the punches. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t buy you’re artwork right away. Do your best to get involved with the art community, Volunteer for art initiatives, make friends and attend as many art shows as possible.

You’re also a musician. Are there any points of contact between music and painting in your work?

Music to me is like painting. The feeling of bliss that comes from writing some new lyrics or strumming some new chords is almost the same as seeing one of my paintings finished for the first time. It is my ultimate self-expression that I wish to share with everyone I meet.

How can people interested in your work reach you?

If anyone is interested in contacting me I am always available through Facebook – Buffalo Custom Art, or they can email me at

Amanda Hart
Guided Pathways – All Roads lead home – Acrylic and Oil Painting on 40×30 canvas – For Sale and available for print and posters.

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