Street Art >> Steve Powers is Back

So glad to see that Steve Powers (a graffiti artist AND Fulbright scholar) is back with a new project.  Called "A Love Letter for Syracuse," it's a project in conjunction with Syracuse University and local organizations intended to use public art as a means to neighborhood revitalization.

Powers, together with these organizations, used painted phrases to turn three train bridges that are physical and metaphorical dividers between two very disparate neighborhoods into points of unity and conversation-starters.

Here, Steve discusses "why" of the font, the words, etc behind this project...

The bridges that cross Fayette and West Streets were hand made in the 1940s from Carnegie Steel and the toil of countless people. They were built for a Syracuse of great industry and remain faithful to the industrial ideals of utility, dependability and (yes) austerity. In the era the bridges were built, sign painting was a viable profession and like many other professions in Syracuse, went away because a machine replaced hands, heart and head.

Once sign painting as a trade became extinct, it became interesting to me as a medium for art. I learned to paint signs as they had been painted for generations, but instead of the commercial concerns of most signage I used the letters and colors to talk about love and life. The font I employ was prized by sign painters because it is clear and versatile, qualities that serve me well when I am talking about complex things like love. Beyond that, my use of the sign painters craft is about the importance of the hands, heart and head being present in the work I make. The work we are calling on to renew the West side must possess the same qualities.
The words we painted were drawn from the neighborhood. The font was already on one side of the w. Fayette Street bridge. (It was painted for Romano Ford in the 60′s and again in the 70′s) The colors we used are present in every industry, the federal safety colors, blue, red, yellow, green, and especially orange. The gloss black is what the bridge was painted when it was first built. The innovations of the color and the content emerge from the history of the black paint. In doing so, these painted bridges represent what I believe is the future of Syracuse;  Taking what has value and remaking it for the future, in a way that respects tradition and innovation.

If you missed his last project, the now-famous "A Love Letter For You," check it out back here.  More about the current project here.

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