Fifteen artists have been selected to paint permanent outdoor murals in an effort to increase employment and vibrancy in Rochester.

Working with RNeighbors, the city is using federal coronavirus relief funding to create job opportunities for local artists who are not fully employed due to the pandemic.

“As a small-business owner artist who has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 severely, it means the world to me to be able to go back to work," said Amarama Vercnocke, who will paint a mural at Harriet Bishop Elementary School. "For years, I have been saying 'pay artists for their time,' and it’s a relief to finally see that happen.”

Grant amounts will be provided based on the square footage of the mural, with compensation ranging from $1,500 to $4,000. Some of the sites included in the proposals are Little Thistle, Cook Park, Grey Duck Theatre, Forager, Oak Terrace and Meadow Park neighborhood and others.

The work at each site needs to be completed by Nov. 1.

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“Art brings neighbors together, as we saw with the Chalk the Walk event," said Rene Halasy, executive director with RNeighbors. "This project is allowing for permanent murals to be spread throughout our community. This art will be visible throughout neighborhoods for all to enjoy, in parks, on small businesses, and on schools."

Sierra Renee Garza, who will paint a mural at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, said she's grateful to be one of the artists tapped to contribute to the project.

"I'm proud to be a part of such a giving community in which people’s creativity is given credit and limelight," she said.

Participating artists

The artists selected for the mural project, along with the planned locations of their murals, are:

  • Adriana Loecher, Hawthorne Education Center
  • Amarama Vercnocke, Harriet Bishop Elementary School
  • Amy Siem, 125 Live patio
  • Cassandra Buck, Forager Brewery
  • Greg Wimmer, Soldiers Field Park
  • Jenna Whiting, Little Thistle
  • Maggie Panetta, Grey Duck Theatre
  • Maggie Panetta, Rochester Honkers Baseball Club building
  • Maria Coronado, Oak Terrace Neighborhood
  • Mary Beth Magyar, Meadow Park Neighborhood
  • Natalia Hernandez, Oak Terrace Neighborhood
  • Sierra Garza and Ben Rivas, Boys and Girls Club
  • Susan Waughtal, Graham Park
  • Willow Gentile, Cooke Park
  • Z Derreck Zirbes, building across from the Government Center