Wall\Therapy opens: Here's where to see the works 

click to enlarge Rochester artist Brittany Williams painted for Wall\Therapy in 2015, and will reprise her involvement with Wall\Therapy for its 10th anniversary festival.


Rochester artist Brittany Williams painted for Wall\Therapy in 2015, and will reprise her involvement with Wall\Therapy for its 10th anniversary festival.

The walls have been primed. The paint and brushes have been stocked. The artists from around town and around the world are funneling into Rochester.

Wall\Therapy gets underway on Saturday to celebrate its 10th anniversary and final annual week-long festival with the painting of fresh murals on buildings across the city. The event features more than a dozen muralists, a film screening, artist workshops, and more from July 23-31.

While this week-long extravaganza will be the last of its kind, organizers say they will continue to facilitate the installation of murals and bring solo or small groups of artists to Rochester when possible.

RELATED: Wall\Therapy marks 10 years with one last festival

CITY previously announced year’s artist roster, which includes includes six Wall\Therapy alumni: New Mexico-based Indigenous painter Nani Chacon (2018), London-based Irish artist Conor Harrington (2013), Canadian artist Jarus (2014), Native-Hawaiian artist Ian Kuali’i (2017), California-born artist Faring Purth (2013), and Rochester artist Brittany Williams (2015).

The list also includes several artists who are new to Wall\Therapy: Rochester native Ephraim Gebre, whose mural of John Lewis on State Street has earned national acclaim, will create his first mural for Wall\Therapy with RIT professor and artist Luvon Sheppard; Detroit-based artist Sydney G. James; Daniel Jesse Lewis of Berkeley, California; South African artist Elléna Lourens; and Keya Tama, who is the son of South African artist and Wall\Therapy alum Faith47.
click to enlarge wt18_nanichacon_markdeff_726_nani-0170.jpg
This year’s 10 wall locations are now live on Wall\Therapy’s site, and are matched with each artist as follows:

Conor Harrington will paint on the brick facade of 114 St. Paul St., which for years had hosted the infamous black-and-white “Sleeping Bears” mural of Belgian artist ROA. The work was widely panned, and at times the controversy it generated overshadowed the scope of the event’s accomplishments over the years.

RELATED: Rochester’s infamous ‘Sleeping Bears’ mural vandalized

click to enlarge The "Sleeping Bears" mural on St. Paul Street was recently scraped and primed for a new mural during the 2022 Wall\Therapy festival. - PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN
  • The "Sleeping Bears" mural on St. Paul Street was recently scraped and primed for a new mural during the 2022 Wall\Therapy festival.
Brittany Williams will paint at 36 King Street off West Main — on a building that formerly housed the Frederick Douglass Resource Center — and Ephraim Gebre will paint with Luvon Sheppard at 488 West Main St., near Sheppard’s Joy Gallery.

Downtown off Monroe Ave., Nani Chacon has a wall on Strangebird Beer (62 Marshall Street), and Ian Kuali’i will paint at Purple Cow Studios (143 S. Union St.).

Over in the East End, Keya Tama has claimed a wall at 318 East Ave., on the building that houses Veneto Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta and Akimbo Books.

Adding to the abundance of murals in the Public Market district, Elléna Lourens will paint at Tiny Fish Printing (258 Hayward Ave.) and just north of the Inner Loop, Sydney G. James will paint a wall at S & T Lounge Restaurant (330 North St.).

Further north, you can catch Faring Purth and Daniel Jesse Lewis painting the rear wall at Auto Finishers (1711 N. Clinton Ave.), and Jarus will paint Barrett Wood Products at 50 Jessie St. — pop by Donuts Delite while you’re in the neighborhood.

There is no formal theme for this year’s crop of murals, but organizers gave participating artists the loose prompt to create work that tackles something they want to talk about regarding the state of the world.

Aside from watching the murals go up, there are other ways to participate in this year’s Wall\Therapy festival. Related events taking place in the coming week include:

• A screening of the documentary film “MARTHA,” is set for a July 26 screening at The Little Theatre, in honor of renowned street art photographer Martha Cooper, who will be in town again this year to photograph the festival once more. The free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Cooper.
• A group discussion on July 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. (details to be announced at wall-therapy.com).
• A Watercolor workshop with Luvon Sheppard on July 30, from noon to 2 p.m. (details TBA)
• Tiny Fish printing will celebrate its 15th Anniversary on July 30, from 4 to 8 p.m., coordinated with the unveiling of Elléna Lourens’ new mural on site.

Wall\Therapy was formally launched as an annual festival in 2012, one summer after founder Dr. Ian Wilson brought a small group of South Africa-based muralists together with local artists to quietly paint murals with uplifting messages on Troup Street and around the Rochester Public Market.

From there, the project erupted into an annual, highly-anticipated event that brought in artists from all over the world to paint walls throughout the city. In the process, it elevated the work of Rochester-based artists, and presented film screenings, dance parties, and conferences on public art.

Rebecca Rafferty is CITY's life editor. She can be reached at [email protected].
click to enlarge champion-story-banner.gif


Audrey Hepburn Film Series

Audrey Hepburn Film Series @ Fairport Library

Oin us this summer for 6 amazing Audrey Hepburn films! Twice a...
Staying Safe Online

Staying Safe Online @ Fairport Library

This class will introduce tips for staying safe online across different devices....
Easy-Peasy Greeting Cards

Easy-Peasy Greeting Cards @ Fairport Library

Make 3 cards from a variety of themes to have on hand...

View all of today's events »

Website powered by Foundation     |     © 2024 CITY Magazine