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‘Wall\Therapy: Just What The Doctor Ordered’

Photo Essay by Becki Fuller

...more artists, more murals, and a healthy dose of inspiration....

In late July 2012, 8 international artists and 3 local artists converged upon the upstate city of Rochester NY to participate in the Wall\Therapy mural project.  Wall\Therapy was founded by Dr. Ian Wilson, a Brooklyn-born radiologist with a love for the urban arts, in conjunction with The Synthesis Collaborative, a non-profit organization that brings diagnostic imaging sites to the developing world.  Together, they work to inspire others and enhance life experience not only through science and technology but with community-level visual interventions in the form of mural arts in public spaces.

The seeds for Wall\Therapy were planted in 2011 when Wilson first brought Cape Town based artists Faith47, DALeast, Freddy Sam and Mak1one to town to spread a positive message of belief and inspiration through colorful and visually stimulating murals. Their bold and powerful walls brought a sense of life and rejuvenation to a city that spends a good part of the year awash in the greys of winter.

The murals were a huge success with the public and local businesses, and that enthusiasm and support helped Wilson expand the reach of Wall\Therapy this year, with 16 murals completed on walls around the city.  Faith47 and DALeast returned again this year to paint alongside an impressive lineup of internationally renowned artists, or “therapists” as Wilson calls them, included Liqen (Spain), Case (Germany), ROA (Belgium), Cern (Brooklyn), How & Nosm (Brooklyn via Spain & Germany), and Siloette (San Francisco), as well as respected Rochester artists St. Monci, Mr. Prvrt, and Thievin’ Stephen.

Wilson is now looking towards the summer of 2013, and all signs point to a festival that will continue to grow­– with more festivities, more artists, more murals, and a healthy dose of inspiration.  Improbable as it may seem to some, Rochester appears poised to take its place as an international destination for urban mural arts.  And that’s just what the doctor ordered!  For more information on Wall\Therapy, go to their website at www.wall-therapy.com

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