The Our West Bayfront Mural Walk takes to you to some of the beautiful pieces of public art found throughout the West Bayfront neighborhoods. This week’s Walking Guide, Patrick Fisher of Erie Arts and Culture and West Bayfront resident, explains why public art is important to him.
Click on the links to find out how to get to the location in Google Maps.
A. “Let the Children Sing” – Thomas Ferraro & Edward Grout, 2017 – MLK Center 312 Chestnut Street: “Let the Children Sing” was facilitated by Looking Glass Art Project with students of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in 2017. Together with the teaching artists and the MLK staff, the students explored the history of important figures in Erie’s African American culture and their influence on the development of Erie. Music emerged as a theme, including the spirituals written by Erie native and prominent classical composer Harry T. Burleigh. Look closely and you may see a bar of notes in the mural, which are from Burleigh’s song “Let the Children Sing.
B. Bayfront WIC Mural – Multiple Artists, 2018, WIC Offices: 556 West 4th Street. This mural, created in 2019 on the side of the WIC (Women Infants Children) office of Erie County, was designed by members of Widget Financial Partners. The mural was part of a larger project where members of Widget Financial Partners, ServErie, and WIC collaborated to renovate the building and surrounding area.
C. Cascade Park Club Mural – Ehren Knapp, 2019 – Cascade Park Club Building, 301 Raspberry Street. Artist Ehren Knapp created this mural of the Bayfront’s history and present in 2019. The project was initiated by longtime Cascade Club President William Galleur (https://www.goerie.com/news/20191102/new-mural-honors-erie-man-bayfront-history)
D. “Ribbons of Life, Love and Hope,” – Thomas Ferraro & Edward Grout, 2014. Villa Maria Apartments, 819 West 8th Street. “Ribbons of Life, Love and Hope” is a collaborative public art piece facilitated by Thomas Ferraro and Edward Grout of the Looking Glass Art Project. Residents developed imagery that focused on the rich history and present-day use of the Villa Maria building complex, including a former convent, elementary school, high school and college. The five existent windows are connected by a painted ribbon of life that symbolizes the residents’ interaction with their neighborhood. The mosaic centerpiece depicts a white lily on a staﬀ that represents the purity of St. Joseph and his role as protector of the apartment complex and the surrounding neighborhood.
E. Untitled, Tom Ski, Jesse N Ricardo’s, 712 Chestnut Street. Street artist Tom Ski has created commissioned and uncommissioned murals throughout Erie. You can find his tag, Adapt, around town. https://www.eriereader.com/article/you-ought-to-know-tom-ski
F. Rudy, Evoca1, 2019. Methodist Towers, 160 West 8th Street. Evoca1 has created murals across the globe and is a self-taught artist. He observes human behaviors and social struggles and translates them into emotionally provocative murals and sculptures. For every mural he creates, Evoca1 focuses on a local community member. For his Erie mural, Evoca1 selected Rudy Daniels, a resident of Methodist Towers. This 9-story mural, created in 2019, was facilitated by Erie Arts & Culture with funding provided by Brian and Linda Graﬀ.
Also, keep your eyes out for two new murals to be installed later this summer along Cascade Street by the ArtForce project, a group of Strong Vincent Middle School students working with local artists Tom Ferraro and Ed Grout.
Completed your walk? Fill out a quick form online, or call (814) 440-8861 to be entered into a weekly drawing for local gift cards!