NEPA Scene Staff

New Martin Luther King, Jr. mural will be unveiled at First Friday Scranton on July 2

New Martin Luther King, Jr. mural will be unveiled at First Friday Scranton on July 2
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

A brightly colored mural featuring iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. has been turning heads on Mulberry Street in downtown Scranton since work on it began in May.

As part of the First Friday Scranton art walk on July 2, the finished piece entitled “The Dream” will be unveiled by illustrator Eric Bussart and letterer Emmanuel Wisdom A. at 5:30 p.m. Both are young graduates of Marywood University, earning a bachelor of fine arts in illustration and a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design, respectively.

“Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘The Dream’ pays tribute to the American civil rights leader who changed the world. Artist Eric Bussart incorporated morning glory flowers into the design because they are resilient, just as his hero, MLK, was. With lettering by artist Emmanuel Wisdom Adjei, the mural encompasses a wide array of interests, including diversity, positive messaging, inclusion, urban gentrification, and art. The messaging and artwork conveys a timeless message for the greater community, enhances the aesthetic appeal of the city, and showcases how graduates of Marywood University’s art programs are applying their talent and creativity to elevate humanity, a universal, as well as a Marywood, core value,” the university stated in a press release.

“Art department students are involved intensely in self-discovery, self-evaluation, artistic research, and professional presentation of products. As a result, the art students at Marywood University develop a sense of responsibility, empathy, and professionalism, which then is reflected by commitment and involvement as a professional in the larger community.”

The 20-foot-by-60-foot mural (approximately 1,200 square feet) contains a famous MLK quote: “I have decided to stick with love … Hate is too great a burden a bear.” Scranton Tomorrow sponsored the grant that funded this project and is also organizing the unveiling at 607 Mulberry Street, located on the left side of independent record store Embassy Vinyl (352 Adams Ave., Scranton).

Bussart is an illustrator based in Scranton who specializes in interior and exterior mural art, album art, illustrated type, portrait illustration, poster art, comic art, graphic novel art, and more. He currently serves clients in the greater Scranton area, New York, and Philadelphia.

Bussart has painted several murals in the city of Scranton, including one nearby with Wisdom on The Leonard Theater building on Adams Avenue, one of John Lennon a few blocks over on Lackawanna Avenue, one inside The Marketplace at Steamtown, one inside the restaurant Peculiar Kitchen, one along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, and one of an Invaders football player on Catalano’s in West Scranton, among others.

Wisdom is the founder and creative director of UNA Design Company in Philadelphia. He specializes in hand lettering, typography, branding, graphic design, packaging, apparel design, and mural and art direction.

Scranton Tomorrow is a 501c(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan community and economic development organization working to establish Scranton as the premier urban center of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Its mission is to mobilize resources to enhance a vibrant environment for Scranton residents, businesses, and visitors, working diligently to establish, manage, and accomplish the city’s shared goals and objectives.

Scranton Tomorrow launched its new Mural Arts Program this year. Designed to transform the downtown landscape and connect communities, the murals will reflect the city’s history and qualities that make Scranton unique.

Featuring QR codes at each site, visitors are encouraged to use their smartphones to embark on brief self-guided tours to learn more about the history and theme of each piece. Through partnerships with professional artists specializing in mural art and conservation, a set of guidelines for future public art projects is in development as part of the program.

This project was made possible with support from Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department and the Scartelli family.