ESPO’s Train to Always

ESPO's latest Brooklyn Love Letter (photo by Luna Park)

Ever the witty punster, Stephen Powers has declared that “All is Fare in Love & Brooklyn” for this, his latest, subway-themed Love Letter to Brooklyn. Check out more in this series here and here.

Brooklyn Love Letter (photo by Luna Park)
Brooklyn Love Letter (photo by Luna Park)
Brooklyn Love Letter (photo by Luna Park)

All I Need is More ESPO

ESPO in progress (photo by Luna Park)

Steve Powers continues his Downtown Brooklyn beautification project… God knows the Fulton Street Mall needs it.

Spreading Love to Downtown Brooklyn One Letter At A Time

ESPO Love Letters (photo by Luna Park)

I made a quick trip to Downtown Brooklyn early this morning to see the progress on ESPO’s newest Love Letters. Head on over to WYNC for the lowdown (plus a quote from yours truly). We’ll keep you posted when the project is complete.

ESPO (photo by Luna Park)
ESPO Love Letters in progress (photo by Luna Park)

Under the Influence of ESPO

espo loveletter daycare carfare

This Saturday only, fall Under the Influence of ESPO. Steve Powers will be on hand at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem to introduce the following film program:

A Love Letter For You
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2010, 59 min
Jail bound youth spray paints a love letter to his girl.

Espo Runs The Show
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2005, 25 min
A artist’s manager tries to keep his client motivated for his debut solo show at a leading art gallery.

Got That Gary
Dir. Joey Garfield, 2000, 1 min
Gary promotes the wares of the Street Market.

Style Wars The Musical
Dir. Matt Lenski
A preview of the beautifulest musical on off Broadway.

espo loveletter beautiful

I had an opportunity to view the semi-fictional/semi-autobiographical A Love Letter For You film earlier this year – if you are a fan of ESPO’s work, you will not want to miss this screening. I might also add that the Maysles Cinema regularly programs rarely screened graffiti films, many of them of historical interest. They should be supported, as they “work hard to solicit material and programs from amateur video-graphers, “hood” documentarians, street vendors, video store-owners, neighbors and citizen-activists.”

Under the Influence of ESPO
Saturday, May 21st, 7:30-10:00pm

Maysles Cinema
343 Malcolm X Blvd. (btw. 127th & 128th Sts.)
New York, NY 10027

Tickets: $10

Salt City Street Art

It appears that all of this snow currently being dumped on NYC has gotten me thinking about my hometown, a place that is well known for it’s crap weather. Growing up in Syracuse, NY, I was fortunate enough to have some really talented writer friends, such as Shone237 and Sake, but it was a rare occasion for outside talent to come through Onondaga county. Yet over the last few years I have been happily surprised to see some internationally renowned names getting up in the Salt City, two out of three with permission and funding, no less.

Back in 2007, Leon Reid (aka Darius Jones, aka VERBS), installed his first legal sculpture right outside of the city court house.

Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)

And in the fall of 2010, Steve Powers brought his Love Letter project literally to the bridge between two very different neighborhoods: Armory Square and the Westside.

Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)
Syracuse Street Art (photo by Becki Fuller)

So, basically I’m just braggin’ for a city that hasn’t always had a lot to brag about…and encouraging any artist with a good idea (and some talent) to consider applying for a grant from the city of Syracuse’s Public Art Commission.

Why Can’t Us? (The Love Letter Continues)

With game six of the World Series coming up tonight, I have the City of Brotherly Love on the mind more than ever. I continue to be amazed and inspired by the Steve Powers Love Letter mural arts project in West Philadelphia. With each trip I take, I enjoy watching the skyline of the area change, enhancing the landscape that is already there. Run down, aging signs from businesses shuttered up years before are now brought back to life by the fresh & vibrant murals that still continue to appear along walls, roof tops, and billboards.

Also appearing shortly, is A Love Letter for You: Love in Transit, a book documenting the creation of the Love Letter series. Though the Gingko Press page for the book does not say as much, I can only assume that the book will feature the photography of the very talented Zoe Strauss, who has been documenting this project since its inception.

Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers' Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
Steve Powers’ Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)

A Love Supreme

This weekend took me back to West Philly to check up on the progress of the Steve Powers mural series “Love Letters“. While the rainy, gray day kept me from taking as many pictures as I would have liked, it was really thrilling to see how far this project has come since the first can of paint was cracked just a few short months ago.

ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)

If you find yourself in the Philadelphia area any time soon and would like to see the murals for yourself, you can download a map of mural locations.

ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)
ESPO Love Letters (photo by Becki Fuller)

While visiting the project headquarters, I had the pleasure of meeting James, a Philly based artist & designer working on everything from the administrative to the community relations aspects of Love Letter. The amount of thought that has been put into the project is clear, but James was able to provide me with a much greater understanding of exactly how deep the community involvement in this project runs. Even beyond the community meetings & the recruitment of local artists, Steve Powers and his collaborators remain engaged in an ongoing dialogue with local business owners and residents to ensure that the art around them has meaning and purpose to the people who will see it every day. Apparently they have been quite successful in this mission, as I hear that there is already talk of keeping the murals in place well beyond their originally planned expiration date.

James (photo by Becki Fuller)
James (photo by Becki Fuller)

While the murals are receiving much of the public attention, there is also a free sign school that is being offered by the project. It’s purpose is to teach the basics of sign making to a new generation of West Philadelphia artists while creating new, free signage for businesses along the Market Street corridor.

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For a much funnier and more insightful look into the Love Letter public art project, check out the official blog, written by Steve Powers.

Oh, and if you have a new or well functioning Mac computer that you are no longer in need of & would like to donate, don’t be shy!