The new project is a collaborative effort between the Erie Art Museum, Erie Arts & Culture, and the YMCA with support from Tungsten Creative Group. The goal is to provide resources and support to artists and property owners interested in the creation of murals. It’s an idea that was first considered in 2012 when Erie was chosen as the host city for the Governor’s Awards for the Arts.
“We made a commitment to provide seed money to a large community project that extended the theme of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts, “art in everyday life” says Tammy Roche, 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts co-chair, “the creation of public art is a direct way to make art more accessible in the environments where we live, work and play.”
The Big Picture will leverage the power of visual storytelling to inspire and beautify neighborhoods by placing large-scale murals in public places. “Noticeably, there is an organic effort in many of our neighborhoods to use murals to beautify, brand a space, inspire community conversation and build pride,” says John Vanco, director of the Erie Art Museum. “The Big Picture will provide the organizational framework to leverage human capital, financial resources and expand impact.”
The Governor’s Awards for the Arts organizers have designated $35,000 for The Big Picture. The seed money will fund project management, training and technical assistance for artists and property owners and support the creation of up to six new murals. “We’ll kick-off activities with training for artists by the award-winning, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. The training will cover muraling techniques, strategies for community engagement and practical considerations like mural maintenance,” Erie Arts & Culture director, Amanda Brown Sissem states. The free workshop will held on Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Erie Art Museum and is open to all interested artists – both those engaged in their own mural projects and those who want to participate in the opportunities available through The Big Picture.