An LA-based artist has installed some colorful works of art in old payphones around Buffalo

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Over the past week, you might have noticed some colorful artwork popping up in phonebooths across the Queen City.

LA-based artist Juan Camacho, also known by his social media handle @screwyblooms, was in town on Tuesday to install some work in out-of-service payphones in Buffalo.

Camacho describes his work as “goofy, recycled art”. He utilizes found objects and colorful fake flowers to bring the installations to life.

PHOTO/Eric Kunsman

“We all see payphones around, but if there’s something in there that catches your attention, then it has the ability to change your day,” Camacho said. “If someone is having a bad day, they look and see this weird object in there, it can break their chain of thought and kind of recreate their day.”

Camacho was brought to Buffalo by Rochester photographer Eric Kunsman, whose exhibition Felicific Calculus: Technology as a Social Marker of Race, Class, & Economics in Rochester, NY is currently on display at the CEPA Gallery, 617 Main St # 201.

Kunsman’s exhibit focuses on the role of payphones as social markers. It will be on exhibition at CEPA through June 5.

“Through Instagram, I’ve gotten to know a lot of other people- one of them is @screwyblooms,” Kunsman, who owns Booksmart Studio in Rochester and is a lecturer at R.I.T., explained. “

Some of the artwork Camacho installed will make Bills fans happy- a piece with a football that says “Mafia” at 2999 Bailey Ave. and an outline of Josh Allen’s figure with the word “Shout” at 407 South Park Ave.

PHOTO/Eric Kunsman

“I’m a 49ers fan, so I’m an NFC guy,” Camacho said. “The Bills are my AFC team- plus, Josh Allen is from California!”

The other Screwy Blooms installations in WNY are as follows:

  • Scotts- Jefferson & Broadway
  • Kehr and French Road
  • 72 Pennsylvania Street
  • 1770 Seneca Street
  • 4298 S Buffalo St., Orchard Park

If you take a picture with one of the installations, you can use the hashtag #screwyblooms.

For more information about CEPA Gallery, click here.

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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