Yo, suburbanites. Graffiti artists are tagging your stomping grounds this summer. But don’t worry; this street art paints a positive picture thanks to Stamy Paul. She founded Graffiti HeArt two years ago to heighten awareness of graffiti as art by commissioning projects that honor local artists. “We have wicked talent in Cleveland,” says Paul. “We just need to provide them the avenues.” In addition to installations at Cleveland State University and Tremont Athletic Club, plus Victor Ving’s popular Greetings from Cleveland mural in Ohio City, Graffiti HeArt recently threw up four new murals on rollaway garage doors covering the mini shops of CLE Clothing Co., Colossal Cupcakes, D’s Accessories and Kernels by Chrissie at Crocker Park. Graffiti HeArt’s latest mural will be unveiled July 15 with the opening of CLE Urban Winery in Cleveland Heights, where Paul plans to host live graffiti art events. The creators of five murals share the artistry behind their work.
CLE Urban Winery
The mural features a bottle and glasses of Cedar-Lee Chardonnay — one of the winery’s 12 varieties. For the bottle, artist Bob Peck, who teamed up with local designer Russ Sands, stepped back from the wall to soften the spray. “I wanted to dust it in there so it had more of a hazy feel to give it that photographic nature,” he says.
Kernels by Chrissie (pictured)
Peck approached this garage door as an open canvas. Using a single focal point, he painted a series of different colored lines that evoke a delicate-finned beta fish. “It flares out and goes where it wants,” he says.
Artist Rich Cihlar’s affinity for vintage toys punctuates this mural of a robot illuminated by a UFO with a screen in its torso that reads “Don’t Panic.” Twelve layers of stencils helped create the effect. “This is the first mural I’ve done using stencils,” says Cihlar. “I like the idea of reproduction art.”
CLE Clothing Co.
Alexander Tang’s mural incorporates an old-school graffiti signature with the trademark penguins of street artist Phrite, who died unexpectedly 10 years ago. “I was really happy to be able to put his name in such a high-profile place,” says Tang.
Three playful Cyclops characters dance in front of Steve Ehret’s freehand-drawn three-eyed grinning monster. “Hopefully, it introduces kids to art,” he says. “Graffiti is so hidden, and that kind of stuff you have to really dig to find.”
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