Rudy Daniels, the man depicted on the eight-story mural on Methodist Towers in Erie, has passed away at the age of 74.

Daniels was a resident at Methodist Towers. In 2019, organizers and the artist who created the mural selected Daniels as the subject.

Patrick Fischer, executive director of Erie Arts and Culture, said the mural is a declaration of belonging. Fischer explained that Daniels in many ways represents a variety of downtown community members.

He was a senior citizen who experienced economic hardship and was also blind. Fischer explained what it was like for Daniels as the mural was created.

“While we were doing this project, he would come out every day. Either on 8th Street or Sass., people would be honking their horn and hollering at him and letting him know that it’s coming together wonderfully,” said Patrick Fisher, executive director, Erie Arts and Culture. “When we finished the project, he came out and he was in tears. He hugged us and told us how much he loved us, so I know that this was something that was really special to him.”

Fisher said the mural lifted Daniels’ spirits and many people in the community recognized him from the mural.