Modeled after world renowned street art festivals in DC, Indiana, Ohio, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Erie will present 28 murals lead by 16 local artists and their assistants as well as 10 guest artists from Australia, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, Mexico, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and South Africa, also supported by local assistants. The objective is to create a museum and gallery quality works that are accessible in the public realm at the street level. Community members and visitors will have the opportunity to see the visual landscape of Erie transformed in a two-week period of time and watch close up and personal the artists at work.
The murals created will reflect a range of processes and styles, including photorealism, illustrative, abstract, and word-based art. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip hop, this inaugural festival serves Erie as part of the national and international conversation regarding hip hop’s place in popular culture.
EAC will partner with Bencher’s Union, City Gallery, 1020 Collective, ECAT, Erie’s Black Wall Street, Erie Downtown Partnership, Grounded Print + Paper Studio, City Gallery, Kings Rook Club and Oliver’s Beer Garden. Each participating partner will host events or exhibitions during the festival that directly relate to and demonstrate urban arts and culture. Confirmed events include several hip-hop showcases, a visual exhibition of sneakers featuring collections from local sneakerheads, and a vendor market of streetwear brands from Erie, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Cleveland.
This is when Erie Arts & Culture resumes the work associated with Purposeful Placemaking, a large- scale mural initiative that calls for 50 murals to be created in 2022-2024, all along the United Way of Greater Erie’s identified safer walking routes to schools. 13 murals were created last year, and 28 murals are slated to be created during the summer 2023 festival with the remaining murals to be executed in 2024.
Views will also see the return of the Bencher’s Union, a once annual showcase of street art and hip hop. In years past, this initiative centered around the railroad overpasses that stretch across State Street, Peach Street, and Sassafras Street. Having been on hiatus since 2013, the Bencher’s Union resurgence in 2023 will focus on creating commercial murals throughout Downtown Erie’s alleyways.
We would like to acknowledge the City of Erie, Erie Insurance, Erie Community Foundation, Scott Enterprises, Tim and Lisa NeCastro, Robin Scheppner, the Zaphiris Family Limited Partnership, Tom Hagen, Gene Davis Sales & Service, and Doug and Deb Murphy as our key funders and sponsors.
The producing team includes Joey Evans, Tom Ferraro, Jackie George, Tauna Hunter, Andre Jones, DaVona Pacley, and the EAC Team and Board of Trustees.
Follow Erie Arts & Culture on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for ongoing updates regarding Views and Purposeful Placemaking. To view featured artists and calendar of events visit our website https://www.viewsfest.com.