Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Local News

Lancaster native continues to inspire with Buffalo-themed art

SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW
by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ Reporter


Michael Sprada, a graduate of Lancaster High School and Buffalo State College, is a local artist who focuses on Buffalo-themed artwork such as key chains, paintings, drawings and souvenirs. Michael Sprada, a graduate of Lancaster High School and Buffalo State College, is a local artist who focuses on Buffalo-themed artwork such as key chains, paintings, drawings and souvenirs. Michael Sprada has always had a passion for art. The Lancaster native has constantly been finding new ways to incorporate his hometown of Buffalo into his artwork.

“I’ve been interested in drawing ever since kindergarten,” Sprada said. “As time went on, I realized my teachers started to showcase my work, and that’s when I knew that I can make a career out of this.”

Sprada certainly has made a career out of it. He worked at Studio Arena as a studio artist for 16 years and now works as a designer at Santoro Signs Inc., where he has been for the last five years. One project he is currently working on is painting the set for the Lancaster High School musical, “Sister Act,” which will be performed from Thursday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 17, at the high school, 1 Forton Drive, Lancaster.

“I have so many different styles, so my mantra is diversify or die,” Sprada said. “When I got older, I started to develop more of a textural style, and I’ve always loved Buffalo architecture. I feel like I have to do a little bit of everything so I’m more marketable.”

Sprada also makes unique Buffalo chicken wing-shaped key chains, jewelry and souvenirs for his personal business, Buffalo Key Wings. The idea originated in 2001, when he made a plate of fake chicken wings to replace the torch on the Statue of Liberty at the Anchor Bar. He later began selling them in the restaurant’s gift shop.

Along with the Anchor Bar, people can also purchase the chicken wing souvenirs and key chains from the Made in America Store.

Recently, Sprada has done work in the following movies: “Marshall” with Josh Gad and Kate Hudson; “Cold Brook” with Buffalo native William Fichtner; and “Trew Calling” with Buffalo native Tracey Wilson.

“There have been a lot of films shot in Buffalo, and I’m being drawn into it,” Sprada said. “Working at a sign shop, some of my friends in theater who are now in films will call me in for signs, as well as painting the set.”

Sprada also has signs available for purchase at the Alexandra gift shop and Aardvark furniture store in Ellicottville.

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