UTICA, N.Y. — Artists and their helpers hit the streets of Utica as part of “Graffiti Busters,” an initiative to cover graffiti throughout the city.
Dozens spent Saturday painting the Burrstone Road underpass.
When completed the mural will say, “Welcome to Utica, Home of the Comets.”
The Graffiti Busters hope to tackle up to 75 sites this year, using a $25,000 grant from the city.
Organizers say getting the community involved in these types of projects is vital to their success.
“One of the things we found works is that when we get community volunteers together and paint a mural in an area like that, it helps to stop the recidivism of graffiti, so that’s kinda what we’re doing today, working on that,” said Gene Allen, City of Utica marketing director.
Gene, it is more than that too. Hope you realize you have a “tiger by the tail” with the Utica Comets. Never seen anything like it. All of us know Utica needs a boost and those Comets are bringing it!!!
Volunteers, Utica Comettes and Jr. Comet hockey players donated their time Saturday to help paint a mural along with the Utica Comets logo.
Their day started at 9 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.
“I wanted to do my part and volunteer my skills,” said local artist Davide Elefante. He was in charge of painting the Comets’ logo section of the mural.
The mural is the third and final installment that came from a $25,000 grant from the Cities of Service for Graffiti Busters. The aim of the grant is to cover or remove graffiti from 75 sites, and then to paint two murals in the city. The Comets’ mural was an extra one.
Gene Allen, the community service officer for the Cities of Service, said the mural project “shows community pride; it brings notice to Utica and the Comets and hopefully reduces the amount of vandalism. The key word is ‘community’ on for this entire project.”
Elefante said after helping out Saturday, he plans to the head to the Utica Auditorium at least a few times this hockey season.
“I haven’t been to a Comets game,” he said.