Artists Transform Buildings in Luzerne County

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. -- The wall of the Empire Arcades building in Edwardsville has been transformed into a seascape, and by the end of the weekend, every inch will be covered in paint.

"Just watching it progress has been mind-blowing," Jenna Casaldi said.

Casaldi is the president of Street Art Society NEPA, an organization started by five women who want to bring more art into their communities.

Evan Lovett is a mural artist from Philadelphia. He was one of the artists selected to paint murals around Luzerne County. He and his assistant Jake have been working in the heat since Thursday, even staying out past midnight one night.

People walking by couldn't help but stop to get a glimpse of the action.

"I think it was really cool. I liked how colorful it was and vibrant and that's what caught my attention. And that's what I like about paintings. They're very colorful and it tells a story," said Daniel Evans of Kingston.

"I just thought how beautiful it looks, the nice colors they were using and the originality. It's some attraction to the neighborhood that you wouldn't normally have," Brian Hart of Edwardsville said.

"Everywhere I go, I get a different experience, not just with creating the mural but with my interactions with the people there. And to be able to give something as opposed to take something from those cultures and those environments, it feels really good, especially when people in the community are really receptive to it," Lovett explained.

This is just one of 10 murals organized by Street Art Society NEPA. From now through the spring of 2020, different artists will transform buildings around Luzerne County into works of art.

All the murals will focus on the theme of nature and the environment. Fortunately, that's Lovett's specialty.

"We have red-eared slider and a painted turtle, which are both native to the area and can be found in the Susquehanna River. We have a split-view of the water and a landscape. That is really common to be seen in this area," he said, describing the mural.

The artists expect to have the mural complete by Sunday.

If you live in Kingston, be on the lookout. The next mural is set to come your way.

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