BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo artist is taking the task of filling potholes into their own hands with a creative twist.

Buffalo’s busy Elmwood Village is known for its shops, restaurants and art.

Recently an anonymous artist started filling in potholes in the neighborhood, and the colorful designs left behind are turning heads.

The artist who wouldn’t go on camera is known to hundreds on Instagram as the ‘Buffalo Pothole Bandit.’

They tell us they fell into a large pothole last year and almost broke their ankle.

That’s when they began filling in the holes and sharing their work online.

Mary Starr lives in the Elmwood Village and was admiring the designs Saturday evening.

“It’s a very unique medium, I guess — potholes,” said Starr. “I think it’s really fun and in places where we get a lot of snow like Buffalo, we have a lot of potholes, why not make it fun.”

A dinosaur design outside of Jim’s Steak Out is a fan favorite.

Other installations like this one outside of Caffé Aroma share kind words.

And a beach design popped up outside of Timothy Ranallo’s real estate office.

“I sit out front waiting for my buyers to come or the seller and there’s always someone stopped taking a look and taking pictures,” said Ranallo. “Little children love it they they look at every little detail and it’s fun to watch the people appreciate it.”

The artist told us they avoid filling potholes in residential areas out of respect for the homeowners.

We spoke with Takari Brown who said this is what the Elmwood Village is all about.

“It adds to what Elmwood is or what Elmwood should be,” said Brown. “There needs to be more art out here and even though there is art, there needs to be way more.”

Sydney Carbotta hopes the city doesn’t take issue with this creative fix.

“That helps the city do their job, take a little bit of work off of them,” said Carbotta.

The Pothole Bandit tells us city crews have left their pothole designs alone over the past year.

Other residents, I spoke with hope this is something that expands beyond the Elmwood Village to the rest of Buffalo.

Latest Local News

New on WIVB.com

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.