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Work in Progress - "Noodle in the Northern Lights" mural
710 Main Theatre
710 Main Street (at W. Tupper), Buffalo NY
By Jessie and Katey
TEXT Beneath Illustrations
West Tupper Street (North elevation)
June 15, 2016 photos
Details below, from left to right:
"Noodle in the Northern Lights," 2016
By Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn
(American, born 1983, and American, born 1983).
32 x 240 feet (9.8 x 73.2 m)
Commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Public Art Initiative, 2016
710 Main Theatre, Buffalo
Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn are a Baltimore-based artist team working to transform public spaces into playful and vibrant experiences. The artists will create a mural on an outside wall of Shea’s Performing Arts Center’s 710 Main Theatre, a prominent cornerstone of the Buffalo Theater District. The mural will fill an expansive block-long wall that stretches between Main and Pearl Streets at Tupper Street.
Since 2011, Jessie and Katey have been consistently creating large-scale, public murals. The inclusive and socially engaging nature of creating art for the public is a driving force in their artmaking. Inspired by the architectural surfaces of each environment, their dynamic paintings often curve around corners and spill onto the ground. Their work explores themes of movement and symmetry, inspired by bold color combinations, patterns in nature, and woven textiles.
This mural is the result of a partnership between Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the 710 Main Theatre, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with generous support from Gregory and Sandra Norwood. The Public Art Initiative is supported by the County of Erie, the City of Buffalo, and Margie and Sandy Nobel.
Jessie and Katey Will paint 710 Main Theatre Mural
May 12, 2016
A giant wall on West Tupper near Main Street is about to get a redo. The ‘Stars of the Season’ wall that currently exists will undergo a transformation into a vibrant mural, which is slated to get underway this month. Two Baltimore artists have been chosen to create the public work of art – Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn (known as Jessie and Katey). The mural project is a partnership between Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 710 Main Theatre, and the Albright-Knox as part of the gallery’s Public Art Initiative.
The two out-of-town talents were chosen to tackle the 32' x 240' work after curators conducted a search for accomplished talents with substantial track records. Jessie and Katey have collaborated on a number of large-scale works.
Jessie and Katey are know as rock stars in the business, creating vibrant pieces that befit gallery-esque works.
The 710 Main Theatre Mural is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, 2016.
Mural Signals New Era for Revitalizing Theatre District
By Colin Dabkowski
The Buffalo News
June 9, 2016
One of the biggest and brightest new murals in Buffalo is quickly taking shape on the north side of 710 Main Theatre.
Baltimore-based artists Katey Truhn and Jessie Unterhalter, known for creating bold murals that often spill from buildings onto streets and sidewalks in cities across North America, have been working on the piece since June 3 with a pair of local assistants. It is the largest mural the pair has created.
“We tried to create some sort of movement with it, so as people walk by or drive by, it dances and changes with them,” Truhn said.
Despite the threat of rain Tuesday, the pair operated twin scissor-lifts on the skinny sidewalk along West Tupper Street. They dipped paint rollers in plastic trays of neon paint and drew them across the primed wall, leaving behind angular blasts of color and long, curved lines.
Before the rain arrived, they had completed about a third of their first layer, which they will embellish, reconfigure and refine over the next two weeks. It is a riotous collection of abstract shapes in bright and incongruous colors, which recalls work of painter Robert Delaunay and the design aesthetics of the early ’90s – proto-Cubism meets “Saved by the Bell” meets Buffalo’s Theatre District.
Truhn and Unterhalter, dressed in paint-spattered jeans, hoodies and colorful sunglasses, took a short break to talk to a reporter as drivers heading toward the Kensington Expressway slowed to a crawl to get a look at the jarring new piece.
“Basically, we just try to create positive energy in any environment that we’re transforming,” Truhn said.
Unlike many murals, she added, the pair’s work is “usually not telling a story, but just sort of a musical, exciting energy.”
Each of their projects, Unterhalter said, is inspired by the building it adorns.
“We’re really inspired by architecture, and that’s the way that we start off designing. We have a language of shapes that we use, and then we kind of plug those into the architectural elements,” Unterhalter said. Truhn added that the 710 Main facade features a slight increase in height toward the middle, an element that inspired their design.
The project represents an increasing desire to include public art in neighborhoods that are undergoing revitalization, according to Aaron Ott, the Albright-Knox public art curator who commissioned the project. That includes the Theatre District ...
“There’s this recognition that there’s a lot of economic development going on all of a sudden,” Ott said. “A lot of people are feeling if they don’t match it with cultural development, that economic development is going to feel stale. This kind of element is emblematic of why you want to come to a space or why you want to stay in a space.”
“Murals have been the one thing that no matter where we go, people ask for. If I’m in Tonawanda, if I’m in Orchard Park, if I’m in the East Side or here in downtown, everybody’s like, ‘Can you give us a mural?’ ” Ott said. “It clearly was a form that civically, almost regionally, was being asked for.”