The Artist Life

Celebrating The Most Artful American Cities

Celebrating The Most Artful American Cities



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The Making of ‘Art City Mural’

After creating “Art City, USA,” a list of the 10 best art cities in the U.S. for artists, creatives, makers and art-enthusiasts alike — based on five key attributes: affordable housing, artists’ enclaves, museums and galleries, bookstores and cafes, and inspiring environment — we wanted to incorporate the top 10 cities as an issue cover for the magazine. The Artists Magazine editorial team first landed on the idea of creating an illustrated map. But that idea morphed into making a mural, the “Art City Mural” — adding the association of street art to a sense of place.

We contracted former graphic designer turned hip street artist Anthony Arias, who also operates the custom mural company Masterpiece NYC, to design and paint our Art City Mural project. Working in tandem with Artists Magazine art director, Amy Petriello, he arrived at a visual concept that stuck to the map idea but highlighted the survey’s “artful living” ranking attributes.

The Art City Mural will remain until August on the façade of b[x] — a Brooklyn-based community incubator that provides high quality and affordable creative workspaces to artists, makers and technologists for their long-term growth, development and success. An inside look into the creation process is below.

Arias primed four separate pieces of plywood with gray paint.

Plastic sheeting provided a contained area for spray painting.

Arias worked on two of the four sections at a time.

The street artist blocked in the masses with spray paint, then outlined shapes with a black marker.

At b[x], Arias added hand-drawn lettering

Show Us Your City

Do you live in, have traveled to or plan to visit an artful city? We’d love to see it!

Snap a selfie in front of a city mural — such as the eye-popping Art City Mural in Brooklyn; an artful sign; a work of art or statue; or anything you find artful around the city. Then tag us on Instagram @artistsnetwork with #ArtCitySelfies. Go explore and get inspired, artists!

About the Artist

Anthony Arias is an NYC-based graffiti artist who started making a name for himself in the early ‘90s, earning a reputation for coupling aggressive letters and stylized characters. His roots in graffiti and graphic design serve as the foundation as he continues to develop the illustrative vocabulary of his work in large-scale murals and fine art.

A version of this article, written by Michael Gormley, first appeared in Artists Magazine. Subscribe here.


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