Buffalo News arts writer Colin Dabkowski, writes about the artist Mickey Harmon’s new exhibition in Buffalo’s smallest art gallery, (716) GAL-LERY located inside the Hydraulic Hearth Restaurant & Brewery across the street from Larkin Square at 716 Swan St.
Mickey Harmon has illustrated the story of Sweet Peggy O’Neil. Peggy grew up on Seneca St, when the neighborhood was known as The Hydraulics. She became a star on the London and NY Stages. She never forgot her hometown of Buffalo and often returned. There are many gaps in her life story, Mickey has teamed up with Hydraulics historian Chris Hawley and writer Margaret Finan to creatively fill in the gaps through illustration and text. A book accompanies the exhibition along with Harmon illustrated stickers in the Gallery gift shop!
From O’Neil’s performances at St. Patrick’s School on Emslie Street to earning superstar status on some of the world’s greatest stages, O’Neil was a such “the life of the show” (The New York Times, 1919) that a popular song was written in her honor – written by starry-eyed Harry Pease, Edward G. Nelson, and Gilbert Dodge, “Sweet Peggy O’Neil,” which John McCormack made a #11 hit in 1922, sings, “If her eyes are blue as skies, that’s Peggy O’Neil; If she’s smiling all the while, that’s Peggy O’Neil; If she walks like a sly little rogue; If she talks with a cute little brogue; Sweet personality full of rascality, that’s Peggy O’Neil.”
A Pie-Eyed Night with Peggy O’Neil opens on January 31st at 11 am and runs through April 30th.
Hydraulics historian, Chris Hawley will give a talk about The Hydraulics and Peggy “O’Neil on January 31st at noon in The Filling Station in Larkin Square.