Erie will soon have another large-scale mural.
Miami-based artist Mwanel Pierre-Louis will be painting the nearly 11,000 square foot mural on the basketball courts at Bayview Park this September.
The initiative, led by Erie Arts & Culture, is a collaboration with the agency’s CHROMA Guild and is funded with support from Brian and Linda Graff, Erie Insurance, the Pennsylvania Department of Community
and Economic Development through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), and a special grant from the Erie Community Foundation.
Brian and Linda (Hoehn) Graff made their first contribution to Erie Arts & Culture in 2019 part of Erie Gives. That donation funded the mural “Rudy” on Methodist Towers, painted by international artist Evoca1.
The Graff’s made another contribution to Erie Arts & Culture part of Erie Gives 2020. That donation is supporting the current mural project.
“We support public art because it is fun, unexpected, and makes people smile,” said Linda. “We are also excited about the opportunities public art offers to local artists to display and develop their art while making Erie a more engaging place to live.”
Erie Arts & Culture is looking for two members of the CHROMA Guild to assist Pierre-Louis with the mural September 14-26. The opportunity will be paid.
“There are several reasons why it’s important for the CHROMA Guild to have opportunities to work alongside and learn from artists like Mwanel.
One: Apprenticing builds capacity and confidence in artists as we grow in our artistic disciplines and relieves us of the often paralyzing anxiety of having to figure it out alone.
Two: Working alongside other artists expands an artist’s social network and fosters cooperation instead of competition among artists.
Three: The lack of prior experience is often a deterrent for artists when applying for art projects and funding. This means that without opportunities like this, artists are always one prior experience short of qualifying for the next opportunity.
It’s also important to have an artist of color leading a project like this because it’s empowering to see another artist of color succeeding in the creative spaces we have historically been shut out of. It’s also helpful to learn how other artists of color navigate the obstacles that accompany being an artist of color. As a society, we have come to acknowledge the importance of having teachers that reflect the demographic makeup of their students. The positive impact of that extends beyond childhood and well into adulthood and specifically in artistic spaces.”Antonio Howard, CHROMA President
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