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Passion, Sense of Duty Drive Artist

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Augustina Droze

Buffalo artist Augustina Droze draws inspiration from an endless list of people she has met, places she has been to and things she has experienced in an extraordinary career that has taken her around the world.
    A painter and muralist, she revels in the richness of the arts scene and its unique celebration of life, nature and diverse cultures and traditions.
    “I love what I do,” Droze insists. “For me, it’s a calling, not just a career or even just a hobby. I think it’s more than that. I feel a sense of duty in my work. It’s my legacy; it’s what I can give back to the world, so I hope my passion comes through.”
    With a client list that stretches coast to coast and internationally as well, she boasts an impressive body of work: small to large decorative murals for private homeowners and commercial clients, mixed-media installations and sculptures, public art commissions and more.
    A key focus these days? Large-scale public art, including a four-story mural that graces the corner of Grant Street at Auburn Avenue on Buffalo’s West Side. Titled “Grant Street Global Voices,” it features photographic images of the residential melting pot that is the area’s hallmark. Students from two nearby schools helped Droze with the project, which she described as “a celebration of diversity.”
    “There was huge community input on that mural. So many people got involved and came to work with me, especially from the refugee and immigrant populations there,” she said. “It was eye-opening for me. It just really changed the way I look at the world and helped me understand more about where people come from.”
    More recently, she completed a large-scale mixed media mural in Nagpur, India, on the façade of a government complex.
    “Public art is very important,” said Droze, a native of Detroit who lived all over the world and came to Buffalo as a visiting artist, eventually settling here. “You don’t have to go to a museum to see it. With public art, millions of people will see it and identify with it and be transformed in some small way.” 

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