Project 89: Community Art Mural committee is excited about the progress being made toward creating an inviting gateway to the downtown area.
Local artist and muralist Ehren Knapp has been commissioned to design and create the 20,000-square-foot mural, which will cover the west wall of the Route 89 underpass.
Phase two will address the east wall. This mural will be the largest in the Erie area and will be a welcoming sight to visitors and residents alike.
The mural will focus on the natural and agricultural beauty of the region, including wildlife such as white-tail deer and songbirds, and scenery such as colorful beach sunsets, ripening vineyards, and the grape harvest.
As stated by VisitErie in regard to its support for the mural, “Public art adds tremendous value to the cultural, aesthetic and economic vitality of a community. Public art contributes to a community’s identity, fosters pride and a sense of belonging, and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.”
The mural, when completed, will be added to VisitErie’s self-driving tour “Erie County Mural Arts” featuring over 80 murals within the county. The addition of the mural to North East’s growing aesthetics, including current murals, crosswalk art, and the continual care and ongoing projects from North East in Bloom will enhance the gateway on Route 89 and welcome those entering the downtown area.
The fundraising goal for the west wall is $148,000, with $60,000 being donated by North East Borough. There has been an outpouring of support from residents and businesses alike through sponsorships and donations.
All funds go directly to support Knapp’s design, labor and materials needed for his method of creating the mural. Rather than painting directly on the surface of the concrete, Knapp will be utilizing the polytab method, involving painting the design on a specific material.
This material is then adhered to the surface with an epoxy, then finished with a weatherproof topcoat.
Examples of this style of mural can been seen on the side of the North East Arts Council Building and on the Skunk and Goat Tavern.
Follow the progress and message any questions on the Facebook and Instagram page at @project89CAM or send an email to email@example.com.
Through the collective efforts of the community, the “front door” of North East can be transformed into a welcoming work of art for visitors and residents alike to enjoy.