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2017 WALL\THERAPY week focuses on healing through art

WALLTHERAPY, Artist Maxx242

Artists from Rochester and around the world have begun painting all over the city as part of the 2017 WALL\THERAPY week.

The project aims to transform buildings using public murals as a means to inspire, and build community.

While WALL\THERAPY itself has been around since 2011, it focuses on a different theme each July for its newest set of murals.

Founder and co-curator Ian Wilson said this year is all about messages of healing.

“With so many forces at play in today’s world that seem to divide, we want to do something that’s unifying.”

Curators determine what walls to use based on a number of different criteria, like artist preference, surface texture, or wall dimension. It’s also sometimes based on the art itself, and what messages might speak more to a certain neighborhood.

This year, the week features an inaugural conference focusing on arts and activism. Wilson says the two go hand in hand.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to spoon feed the public what the message is, that’s the point of other communication. But art at least gets people to think about things on perhaps a higher level."

The day long conference will explore the intersection of social change, community activism, and creative practice. It takes place July 29th at the Little Theatre.

Wilson also says what makes WALL\THERAPY different from other mural projects he’s seen, is that the artists are accessible.

"There are no velvet ropes that tie off the artists from the public. Obviously they’re working but you can engage with them. You can identify any team member in the community during this week that’s wearing a WALL\THERAPY t-shirt and inquire about what the project is and what it means."

Eight new murals will be going up over the next week. The public is welcome to view the process; a list of sites is online.