My hometown of Rochester, NY has been experiencing something of a renaissance in the last few years. The historically hip Park Avenue is dotted with boutiques, restaurants and the still-great brick and mortar Lakeshore Record Exchange. The nouveau-cool South Wedge neighborhood boasts community staples like Equal Grounds Coffee House, Boulder Coffee Company, a some great drinking opportunities (if you find yourself in the Flower City, be sure to check out Lux if you are fine with PBR all night or Tap and Mallet for a killer beer list and good eats). What I am trying to say is that there are significantly more places of quality to spend your time and money in downtown Rochester than there were when I moved away in 2003 and if you have ever heard it mentioned and wondered why anyone would talk about a city that experiences five solid months of snow each winter just know that the residents know exactly what you are missing out on.
Now, I am not one who feels a need to spend money in order to have a good time, so imagine the sheer joy that I felt when, driving downtown to visit my cousin Bud, I saw some traffic boxes prettied up with some city-sponsored paintings. Little did I know that those were only the tip of the iceberg as far as recent artistic additions to the street-scape goes. In 2012, Dr. Ian Wilson rounded up eleven street artists to paint sixteen walls in the city as a way to give back to the city, calling the festival WALL\THERAPY, and bringing thirty artists together for last years effort of forty pieces of gorgeous new artwork. Next time that I am up there I am going to make it a point to spend an afternoon going around to town to see all of these pieces myself. “Mural art can enhance the life experience – an arguable effect of the arts in general,” Brooklyn Street Art quotes Dr Wilson saying and I completely agree and appreciate that the former graffiti writer’s commitment to this belief brought about all of this amazing work. I hope that the citizens of my hometown are as impressed, inspired, and appreciative of these glorious murals as I am. Thank you, Dr Ian Wilson.
Read more at the WALL\THERAPY site here and be sure to look around the site at the rest of the murals. If you are interested in this inspirational community act of beautification Rochester City Newspaper’s Rebecca Rafferty’s piece is incredible and the pieces over at WALL\THERAPY‘s media partner Brooklyn Street Art are worth checking out as well.