NEPA Scene Staff

Street Art Society of NEPA begins first of 10 local murals in Edwardsville July 26-27

Street Art Society of NEPA begins first of 10 local murals in Edwardsville July 26-27
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From a press release:

This weekend, the Street Art Society of NEPA will officially begin the first of 10 murals slated for the West Side Mural Revitalization Project. Murals will be painted on buildings in Kingston, Edwardsville, and Luzerne during the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020.

Philadelphia muralist Evan Lovett will be painting a new work of art on the Empire Arcades & Home Amusements building (509 Main St., Edwardsville) this Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27. A time lapse video of the painting process will be featured on the group’s Facebook page in addition to a link where community members can donate to a GoFundMe campaign supporting the project, which “will impact the aesthetic, economic, and psychological well-being of local NEPA communities, and demonstrate what is possible when residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to be confronted by uplifting colorful images on a daily basis.”

“We received a grant to get us started, but there is still a lot more to do. Every donation helps us to move forward in the process of beautifying our communities. In donating to the Street Art Society, community members are giving a gift to themselves, as everyone will get to enjoy the benefit of this project,” the Street Art Society of NEPA said in a statement.

The Street Art Society is comprised of a group of artists who strive to improve Northeastern Pennsylvania by infusing beautiful and uplifting works of art into small communities. Whether its a mural, sculpture, community garden, or labyrinth, their goal is to connect people with their environment and create a more forward-thinking culture in NEPA.

With a goal of $30,000, the crowdfunding campaign will cover the cost of insurance and lift equipment rentals as well as paint, primer, clear coat, and all of the other materials needed to create 10,671 square feet of artwork on 10 buildings.

The GoFundMe page states:

We are working through a “reimbursement grant,” which means that funds for the project will not be accessible until after expenses have been incurred. Therefore, we must rely on ourselves and contributions from donors to cover start-up costs for materials until all receipts and documents have been submitted and processed. Our GoFundMe campaign will help to ease some of the financial burden we may otherwise be taking on personally, as individuals, having to purchase paint, supplies, and equipment rentals, for the benefit of our communities and allow our efforts to reach further.

Money raised through our GoFundMe campaign will also help us to give artists a portion of their stipend as they are working on the project, rather than requiring them to wait weeks after everything is completed before receiving payment. Mural painting is physically intensive work that requires an artist to spend long hours outdoors, working several feet off the ground to produce large-scale artwork. This is not an easy task. We would like to make sure that our artists receive adequate compensation for their time and talent as well as the effort and dedication they are putting forth toward improving the towns in which we all live.

Digital mock-ups of each mural design chosen for this first phase are depicted in the video below. The 10th mural site is reserved for experimentation with Polytab, which presents an alternative mural-making method the group would like to gain experience with that could prove to be beneficial for highly detailed paintings or as a cost-saving measure for challenging sites in the future.

Photo of Evan Lovett painting “Bickering Birds” in Philadelphia courtesy of VURT