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Sprocket Mural Works unveils 5 new murals created this fall in the city of Harrisburg

The nonprofit group has created a total of 45 murals in the city since its formation five years ago.
Credit: Sprocket Mural Works
One of the five new murals completed this fall in the city of Harrisburg by Sprocket Mural Works.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Sprocket Mural Works, a Harrisburg nonprofit group devoted to creating vibrant mural projects across the city, announced this week the addition of five new murals completed this fall.

The project has created a total of 45 murals in the city, organizers said.

“Spontaneously, all five of these projects came together quickly this fall––four of them commissioned works––which echoes the sincere desire for more public art in our city,” said Megan Caruso, Sprocket co-founder. “With this community support, we are greatly encouraged to move forward with plans for the 2021 Harrisburg Mural Fest.”

Nature is depicted in three of the new murals—a theme that Caruso said consistently ranks high in conversations with community residents, business owners and mural supporters.

Caruso points to a nationally-known, widely-received study that documents the healing power of art within hospital and medical settings. When exposed to art, patients report feeling less pain, they require less pain medication and even heal faster, she said.

“If art has the power to help individuals become well within hospital rooms, think about the presence of art on a larger, public scale--consider the healthy impact it has on our community and city,” Caruso said.

Four of this fall’s murals were created by local artists; the fifth was part of a nationwide mural project by Stephen “ESPO” Powers, a celebrated contemporary muralist based in New York City. 

Three of the murals are located in the SoMa (south of Market) district, while two are located in midtown Harrisburg.

Details and locations of all five fall murals include:

  • A nature-inspired mural created by Harrisburg native Samantha Sanders — an artist now based in Philadelphia — was commissioned by WCI Partners and coordinated through Zeroday Brewing Co., to set the scene for Zeroday’s future beer garden located behind 925 N. Third St.
  • Community conversations are depicted in Stephen “ESPO” Powers’ mural, created as a gift to the city as part of his “Make Something” project, located on the side of 1015 N. Third St.
  • An abstract “drip style” mural created by Dizz Gavins of York brightens the wall at 28 Dewberry Street, on the rear of the Messiah Institute building, which borders Blackberry Street.
  • Inspired by peregrine falcons that annually nest nearby atop the Rachel Carson building, which houses the Department of Environmental Protection, Gettysburg-based artist Emily Matusz created a nature-themed mural also depicting Mountain Laurel, Pennsylvania’s state flower. It’s situated along Blackberry Street off Fourth St, under the Chestnut Street Garage.
  • A multi-colored, abstract mural featuring birds in flight was created by Harrisburg artist Tara Chickey, arts director at The Millworks. It’s located behind 333 Market Street, at the corner of Blackberry and Dewberry Streets.

The three murals located along Blackberry Street in the SoMa district were funded by the McCormick Foundation, Harrisburg Downtown Investment District and Harristown Enterprises.

“Blackberry Street is becoming a mural mecca — a starting point for the Harrisburg Mural Trail,” said Brad Jones, Harristown’s President/CEO. “It’s an important pedestrian area, so these murals bring a lot more visibility, and they catapult SoMa as a beautiful destination.”

Many of Sprocket’s mural projects are clustered along the Third St. corridor, forming the beginnings of the Harrisburg Mural Trail, which extends into additional city neighborhoods including Allison Hill. 

A detailed map is available at SprocketMuralWorks.com. Not only does the map serve as a traditional mural finder via Google map locations, but it facilitates virtual visits through embedded photos. 

The majority of the murals were created over the past five years during Sprocket’s 2017 and 2019 Harrisburg Mural Festivals by local, regional, national and international artists. 

Additionally, area residents added brushstrokes to numerous murals during community and neighborhood events.

Businesses interested in sponsoring murals during next summer’s 2021 Harrisburg Mural Festival are invited to contact Sprocket at hello@sprocketmuralworks.com. 

Additionally, property owners interested in having their walls evaluated as future mural sites, and artists interested in participating in future mural projects, are invited to contact Sprocket via contact forms on the website.

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