New mural adorns Hotel Sterling annex building in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One man’s brick wall is another man’s canvas. Where we see regular buildings, artist Evan Lovett sees a potential masterpiece and he’s working on his next one in Wilkes-Barre.

Eyewitness News spoke with Lovett about the impacts of public art and what it takes to turn a vision into a larger-than life masterpiece.

Lady of the Valley. That’s what Lovett is calling his latest mural. The one on the Hotel Sterling annex in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

“What you will be eventually seeing over her right and left shoulder is a scene of the valley in its raw form like how it would have been 100 or 100 years ago… An autumn scene,” Lovett said.

Over her other shoulder: an old refinery, one of the first coal refineries that was right in Luzerne County.

“It’s more of like an ode to the history of what the valley provided the people which is how the city got here in the first place,” Lovett said.

After three days of work, the lady is starting to take form. All the letters and symbols won’t be on the finished product, but according to Lovett, they’re the key to bringing her to life.

“We first painted the entire wall Friday with all these random symbols that allows us to kind of know the origin point of our sketch. So, we take a photo of that and then we overlay our drawing and then we know where the lines have to go from point to point so it’s like a big connect the dots,” Lovett said.

As the founder of his Philadelphia non-profit “VURT” Visual Urban Renewal and Transformation, Lovett understands what a bit of paint can do for a community.

“With a little bit of color and a little bit of creativity we can make that something people can be proud of,” Lovett said.

The 2,400-square foot mural in Wilkes-Barre is privately funded. Lovett has previously done work for the Street Art Society of NEPA. In 2019, he painted the mural on Empire Arcades in Edwardsville.

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