Empowerment Center Mural

Title: Empowerment Center Mural

Creator: Tony Thompson, Tino Lopez

Region: Utica

Date: 2016

Medium: paint

Technique: painting, spray painting

Dimensions: 9 feet (height) x 70 feet (width)

Description: Flags fly across this stylized cityscape to celebrate the ethnic diversity of the Cornhill neighborhood. For this mural, artists Tony Thompson and Tino Lopez found nuanced ways to incorporate ideas from community members. The green buildings are reminiscent of the corn fields that filled this area years ago. They show how this urban setting has sprouted from its rural history. Telephone wires spread between buildings as a metaphor for important connections among community members. A smiling sun embodies the idea of empowerment, sending rays across the rest of the landscape and helping a flower blossom to thrive.

The City of Utica commissioned this work through the Home Ownership Center. The paint was donated by Jay-K Lumber. The original design was on a smaller scale, just to fill the windows. However, on the day they were scheduled to paint, everyone agreed that they should fill the full wall. The existing molding in the lower parts of the walls provided a perfect place to add more flags. Kids walking by suggested more flags to include: Puerto Rico, the American Indian Movement, China, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Indonesia, Italy, Somalia, Vietnam, Mexico, Ireland, Luxembourg, Pan-Africa, and the US.

Subject: Public art, Mural painting and decoration

Rights: © Anthony Thompson and Tino Lopez 2016

(In Copyright, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/)

Find out more:

“Tony Thompson Art.” Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. https://www.facebook.com/TonyThompsonArt/

“Cornhill Community Meets to Discuss Mural.” WKTV.com. N.p., 17 May 2016. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. http://www.wktv.com/news/Cornhill_community_meets_to_discuss_mural.html

HomeOwnershipCenter. “Before and after of the Empowerment Center! #NWW2016.” microblog. @UNHS1. N.p., 12 June 2016. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. https://twitter.com/UNHS1/status/741822746506743808

ID#: AO-00126

Location: Empowerment Center, 230 James Street, Utica