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Street Art Rochester

Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti

The term street art means different things to different people. It covers everything from traditional sanctioned or non-sanctioned graffiti to community-sponsored wall murals.

Here, we interpret street art to mean any outdoor, free, public wall art. In an article on rochestersubway.com entitled “Art is All Around Us“, author Mike Governale shares,

Rochester’s streets are a hotbed of modern artistic expression. All too often we dismiss street art as thoughtless vulgarity or worthless scribble. I say it depends on the frame; and the lens.

Mike Governale

So let’s view Rochester’s public wall art through our day-trip lens. Find these locations and more using our Google Map. Our maps are public, so feel free to edit and add locations within the Rochester area.

Locations with
concentrated street art

Below we have included just a few samples from each site. You absolutely have to witness these in person to fully experience the environment and contemplate the meaning.

Cobbs Hill Water Tower Justin Suarez
Justin Suarez (pka MR. PVRT, aka AEROSOL KINGDOM)
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Washington Grove Graffiti
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower

Washington Grove & Cobb’s Hill Water Towers

The water towers serve as a rotating exhibit of graffiti. Often you’ll find artists creating new pieces and practicing their technique for bigger projects.

There are several places to enter Washington Grove. I tend to park on the east side of the reservoir. Look for the trail head toward the north-east along the treeline. Head down the hill, and at the bottom look up and to the left. You’ll see the water towers looming large behind the trees. Follow the trail east of (or to the right of) the towers to head up the hill.

Learn more about Cobb’s Hill

Martin Luther King Jr Park mural
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park wall art
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park wall art

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square

Manhattan Square has been deteriorating most of my life. When they painted over the last mural I thought it was the end. But now it’s MLK & there’s color, water, people, healthy signs of life & community again! The inner loop era is over, and I can’t even begin tell you what a joy that is.

Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park

south wedge
Wall Art Shining Star
public wall art garden south wedge

South Wedge Neighborhood

Tucked behind and in between South Ave. boutiques, bars, and restaurants, take walk and look for these exceptions pieces and more!

graffiti around Rochester Public Market
public wall art mermaid public market
street art public market house of guitars
street art mr prvrt
street art american hawk public market
Rochester Public Market
Look up!

City of Rochester Public Market

Keep your eyes open as you’re shopping—art is everywhere!

Learn more about the Public Market

El Camino Trail Wall Therapy street art woven blanket
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art fish
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art face
El Camino Trail
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art bold mask
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art MC
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art lucha
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art flex
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art mask
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art dragon
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art elephant
El Camino Trail Wall Therapy wall art bike

El Camino Trail

Much of this exquisite art—created during WALL\THERAPY in 2013—is concentrated on the north end of the El Camino trail, near Ridge Road.

Each year, Genesee Land Trust hosts the annual 5k @ El Camino. It’s a great opportunity to support this community trail and check out the incredible wall art along the way.

Quintessential Rochester: Street Art
Atlantic Ave
the world is yours
public wall art omen
public wall art face
public wall art nova
Street Art Rochester

Atlantic Ave & Greenleaf St

These were created during WALL\THERAPY events.

Fedder Industrial Park
Fedder Industrial Park
Fedder Industrial Park

Fedder Industrial Park

These were created during WALL\THERAPY events.

Rochester Wall Art subway aqueduct
“Child’s Basin” mural, painted by Cazenovia College Art Professor Corky Goss. Looking out through a stone archway is the first Mayor of Rochester and son-in-law of Nathaniel Rochester, Jonathan Child (1795-1860).
Abandoned-Aqueduct-Subway-Rochester-FUAKREW-wall-art
public wall art subway tunnel graffiti

Abandoned Aqueduct and Subway

The old subway and canal tunnel under Broad Street is still accessible to urban explorers, but not easily to the general public. Rather, you can still take a peek in from the bottom of the stairs next to Blue Cross Arena & War Memorial.

FUA Krew subway graffiti
FUA Krew at MAG

You can also experience the reproduction at the Memorial Art Gallery in a temporary installation celebration 30 years of FUA Krew influence on Rochester’s street art culture.

public wall art legal graffiti wall
Street art legal wall village gate

Legal Wall behind Village Gate

The wall is no longer legal to tag or view on property, but you can catch a legal glimpse from behind Rochester Brainery.

Wall Art Lyons
Lyons
public wall art Macedon mural erie canal
Macedon
public wall art Port Newark mural erie canal
Newark
Mural in Brockport
Brockport

Erie Canal

Check out more art at Mural Mania and learn more about the Erie Canal.

More personal favorites
street art

Wall Art - Joywave Album Cover
Joywave Album Cover
Mount Morris
Mount Morris

Rochester-Area Artists

As you can probably imagine, many are also fine and tattoo artists! Check out their Instagrams to see their collection of beautiful work.

Range (Victor Zarate)

 

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Shawn Dunwoody

 

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Brittany Williams

 

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Thievin’ Stephen

 

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Aerosol Kingdom / pka Mr. Prvrt (Justin Suarez)

 

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A post shared by Mr. Prvrt aka Justin Suarez (@mrprvrt) on

Sarah C. Rutherford

Also, check out Her Voice Carries, “a public art project featuring women who are lifting up the voices of others. The intention is to create a network of murals across America that weave a collective story laced with individual truths. In addition, each story becomes part of a larger dialogue through audio recordings, social media and a traveling exhibition. This series emphasizes the commonalities of our human experience through the leadership of empowered women.”

 

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Aubrey Roemer

 

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Adam Fracey

 

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Masiori (Nate Hodge)

 

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Lea Yolanda

 

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St. Monci (Michael Moncibaiz)

 

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John Perry

 

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Todd Stahl

 

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Salut (Bradd Young)

 

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dellarious

 

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Utility boxes
street art

Dellarious’ art is the perfect segue! I think what I love about our painted utility boxes is that they appear at intersections. While you’re driving along, you stop at a red light and take a moment out of your hectic day to enjoy a spark of art. These are just a few of my favorites.

public art utility box East Ave Robert Wegman
public art utility box GVP
public art utility box park ave

Organizations
street art

There are many organizations that support art in Rochester, but these three in particular support street artists.

WALL\THERAPY

Website | Map of 124 locations

WALL\THERAPY is an art and community intervention project, using public murals as a means to transform the urban landscape, inspire, and build community.

WALL\THERAPY murals have transformed walls, buildings, and neighborhoods. This transformation has sparked inspiration in individuals and communities alike. The murals have become part of the local conversation, the local identity, and the fabric of the city. Local art classes and schools tour the murals as part of the curriculum. Local professionals change their route to the murals as part of their drive home. Local artists, young and old, find inspiration in the works.

 

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FUA-Krew

Website

From Up Above Krew, est. 1989.

celebrating over 30 years of dedication to the visual element of hip-hop that we call GRAFFITI…

FUA-Krew

 

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Roc Paint Division

Website

Roc Paint Division murals are inside, except for Black Lives Matter created during WALL\THERAPY in 2017 which can be seen outside the Flying Squirrel Comm Space from Troup St.

Created in the fall of 2015, Roc Paint Division’s mission is to beautify the city’s R-Centers through mural arts while providing employment and training opportunities to young developing artists.

 

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Art Museum of Rochester
Art Museum of Rochester, Monroe Ave

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park

Five-acre Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park at Manhattan Square is in the heart of Center City, right next to the Strong National Museum of Play.

Read more

Cobbs Hill + Washington Grove

The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.

Read more

100+ Other Museums Around Rochester

Explore some lesser-know, off-the-beaten-path, and odd-collection museums around Rochester, like the ones dedicated to trains, planes, and brains!

Read more

Erie Canal Aqueduct & Subway: Rochester’s Transportation Heritage

Before the Erie Canal ran its current course through Genesee Valley Park, it flowed right through the city using the aqueduct to cross the Genesee River.

Read more

Do you have a favorite location for street art?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!

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9 thoughts on “Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti”

  1. There is one on Main St that I love. “They tried to bury us, but didn’t know we were seeds.” Next to Minq Lounge

  2. @enjoy canvas, I’m thrilled you stumbled upon us! I hope you’re able to find some new places to check out around Rochester. I love being able to share new and hopefully inspiring ideas.

  3. Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and the detailed information you offer. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read!

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