LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — If you paint it, they will come. A local nonprofit has a goal to beautify NEPA through art, and it seems to be working. 28/22 News Reporter Emily Allegrucci checked out some of their murals to tell us the impact these giant paintings have had on the community.
Street Art Society of NEPA has been sprucing up Luzerne County for the last five years. They have dozens of murals scattered throughout the county, bringing smiles and a business boom to the area.
One shared dream turned into a vibrant reality. Street Art Society of NEPA began their grass-roots mural mission in 2018, although their art is showcased on buildings from Edwardsville to Exeter, the organization’s start wasn’t as bright as their murals.
“We were going from door to door handing out letters and building owners had the opportunity to get in on this and get free murals. We only got like 14 responses. But once we were able to prove what these artists can do and what these murals could be, more people started reaching out to us about this,” said Jenna Casaldi.
They now have more than 20 murals spread throughout Luzerne County, each one is unique, some taking four days to complete, others four months.
The artwork is completed in phases, phase two is in progress, consisting of five murals with the theme, The Wyoming Valley Creative Tomorrow.
“When you look at something so vibrant like this mural, it uplifts your energy, it makes you happy, the color. I mean right now, you can see the skies are grey so this color is extra special,” said Street Art Society of NEPA Vice President Amy Bezek.
Giant works of art not only make these local buildings more attractive, but they have actually had a positive economic impact on the business that they’re painted on.
Little Big Thinkers Learning Center in Edwardsville is just one example.
“After the mural was painted there, her phone was ringing off the hook for new clients to come into the daycare. Same thing with restaurants nearby. We’ve had so much great feedback with them saying that they are seeing a difference in business,” Bezek said.
The nonprofit now has a list of businesses and buildings waiting for their turn to be part of the art.
While they wait, the group runs a spring trolley tour showcasing the murals.
“Had a history about the mural, history about the building, history about the artist,” Bezek explained.
To find a map of the murals, learn more about their mission, or donate to Street Art Society, you can find information on their website.