Bayview Park will be the canvas of the artist Mwanel Pierre-Louis
Bayview Park basketball courts in Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhood will soon be getting a new lick of paint – but not the kind you might imagine.
Florida artist Mwanel Pierre-Louis will not draw new baselines or sidelines or a three-point arc line. Instead, it will transform the two courts into an 11,000-square-foot mural commissioned by Erie Arts & Culture, executive director Patrick Fisher announced on Monday.
“There are examples of basketball court murals all over the country,” Fisher said. “It’s a great way to add vibrancy to existing asphalt and create accessible public art in a place people wouldn’t expect to see art. If you’ve ever been to the Bayview courts in the summer, you know they are extremely used. This is one of the fields on which the Spoon’s League plays. This land as a whole is very popular with neighborhood youth and adults.
The mural will not impact court usage, Fisher said.
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A design has yet to be chosen, but Fisher said Erie Arts & Culture and members of his Creative Hub of Resources and Opportunities for Multicultural Artists (CHROMA) guild have provided images to the artist to help him. to enlighten his work.
“The CHROMA Guild members have been doing some community engagement so that we can get feedback from the community that maybe can help inform its design,” he said. “We have also collected historical images of individuals who have achieved a certain greatness in their athletic careers or through their community leadership and have played on this field as youth or young adults. All of this was sent to him, but it there is no guarantee that imagery will find its place in the design. “
In terms of size, Fisher said it would be slightly smaller than the 12,000-square-foot mural that was painted on the second-story observation deck of the Bicentennial Tower in 2019 by artist Rafael Gerlach. , which is called SatOne.
After:Artist SatOne completes mural at Erie’s Dobbins Landing
Community support made the project possible
Erie Arts & Culture worked on the project with Anna Frantz, director of the neighborhood association Our West Bayfront, city councilor Erie Mel Witherspoon, founder of Spoon’s Summer League, and Dave Mulvihill, city director of public works. from Erie. .
Erie Arts & Culture will use a donation from Brian and Linda (Hoehn) Graff, which was made during Erie Gives 2020, to help fund the project. Erie’s 2019 donation from Graff to Erie Arts & Culture funded the eight-story photorealistic mural on the west side of the Methodist towers at 160 W. Eighth St. The mural depicts Rudolph “Rudy” Daniels, resident of the Methodist towers . art because it is fun, unexpected and makes people smile, “Linda Graff said in a statement from the association.” We are also excited about the opportunities that public art provides for local artists to exhibit and develop their art while making Erie a more attractive place to live.
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Erie Insurance Group, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, and a special grant from the Erie Community Foundation are also supporting the mural project.
Two members of the CHROMA Guild of Erie Arts & Culture will assist Pierre-Louis in the project. They will be paid for their work, which will give them the opportunity to learn the art of mural painting directly from Pierre-Louis, Fisher said.
CHROMA President Antonio Howard said in a statement that the opportunity for two of its members to work alongside Pierre-Louis will help them “build capacity and confidence … as we grow in our artistic disciplines. », To develop their social networks and provide them with the experience to qualify for future artistic projects and funding.
“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 succeed in the creative spaces we have always been excluded from,” said Howard.
After:Snapshot: Public art murals add beauty to Erie region
The work will be completed mid-September
Fisher said Erie Arts & Culture was introduced to Pierre-Louis through muralist Elio Mercado, who designed the “Rudy” mural.
Pierre-Louis will be in Erie to work on the mural from September 14 to 26.
According to Pierre-Louis’ website, the “artist’s work combines realism and abstraction in a narrative that draws on personal interactions and pop references. Mwanel’s paintings feature juxtapositions of fragmented experiences and strongly emphasize emphasis on the relationship between subject and color “.
A native of New York of Haitian descent, Pierre-Louis completed the high school program at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida, and the illustration program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. , in California. His clients include companies like Adidas, Starbucks and Atlantic Records, according to his biography.
Most of the murals featured on his website are colorful depictions of blacks, including a black woman as “Mother Earth” on a 9 x 15 foot mural he created at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.