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Omnipresent photographer and street artist Max Collins, whose work has been all but unavoidable on Buffalo’s streetscape these past few years, has trained his lens on an unlikely place: The Buffalo News.

His new show, sponsored by The News’ commercial printing division, TBN Direct, features portraits of many employees from editors and writers to pressmen and drivers. The show emerged from Collins’ work as a photographer on his college newspaper, the Michigan Daily, and his longtime admiration of newspaper journalism. The show opens Friday in Main Street Studios (515 Main St.), also the site of a popular mural to which Collins was a key contributor.

“It’s a really personal thing for me,” Collins said during a break from printing his pieces in The News’ second-floor print operation. “I just find newspapers so important.”

Collins said the portraits, printed on thick boards pasted with articles from the newspaper, are part of an attempt to give credit to the sometimes under-recognized efforts of newspaper men and women.

“The subjects are printed directly on top of the newspaper they contribute to, adding another dimension to the image that not only speaks to the individual, but infuses them with the product they work so hard to produce,” Collins said in his artist statement. He went on to say that as print journalism’s future is uncertain, the portraits he’s created for the exhibition will “act as [artifacts] in the future of how newspapers were once produced.”

The show opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Friday and runs through Aug. 15. Call 430-6353 or visit www.mainstudiosbuffalo.com.

– Colin Dabkowski