New mural helps Phase 1 of the West Side Mural Revitalization Project move forward

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LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There’s a new addition to a Luzerne County community. One that’s eye-catching and is one of a kind.

Members of a local non-profit believe art can bring value to communities. They’re on a mission to spark positive change in Luzerne County communities one mural at a time. The latest is by a young artist from Harveys Lake.

19-year-old Morgan Masters helps people see their community in a new light.

“I definitely think they feel proud because some of the neighbors have come out and they tell me they’re so happy to have this right across from their street,” Masters said.

That’s the goal of Street Art Society NEPA. The grassroots non-profit is led by a group of women who believe public artworks can improve the aesthetic, cultural, and investment value of local communities.

“One of our main goals is to change the vibrations and give more of a positive energy to our area,” Street Art Society NEPA vice president Amy Bezek said.

Masters’ mural on the corner of Walnut and Main Streets in Luzerne is part of their West Side Mural Revitalization Project. The society was awarded $45,000 for Phase 1 of the project through an LSA grant, which under the Gaming Act, allows money the state gets from casinos to be used for public interest projects.

Phase 1 is Pennsylvania nature-themed. The society chose 10 artists to paint murals in 10 different locations throughout Luzerne County. Masters’ mural is the eighth installment and it’s nearly complete.

“Eyes are also my favorite things to paint so I always wanted to do something like that with like human eye next to owl eye to show humanity versus nature,” Masters said.

The project provides work for local artists. Masters says she spent 30 to 40 hours on the mural. She hopes it inspires people to see the beauty in their community.

“To be more artistic and pursue the arts more because Luzerne is such a nice area, where the mural is located and so I really hope there’s more murals that pop up and makes Luzerne more of an artsy town and inspire young people to come by,” Masters said.

“It’s so easy to focus on all the negative things that are out there in the world, but it takes a visionary, an artist to just see the good that’s there and bring it out in a way that people can appreciate it,” Street Art Society NEPA secretary Lisa Murphy said.

The next phases are already in the works. For more information, visit streetartsocietynepa.org.

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