Local artist Michael Conlin has been hard at work painting a giant mural downtown meant to emphasize our local arts scene – and, to just make Albany feel more welcoming to those coming into the city.
The amazing mural, about 25 feet by 85 feet, is being painted on the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany. It depicts several Eastern bluebirds – the state bird – in various stages of flight, with the birds appearing to fly towards Broadway.
The parking garage, along with its beautiful art piece, is best seen when exiting 787 South via exit 4B onto Clinton Avenue. This exit is the main point of access into the Downtown Central Business District. The art piece is intended to be a friendly gateway into downtown as visitors literally approach Albany.
“We wanted to create a unique welcome to New York’s capital city,” Kevin O’Connor, Chairman of Albany Parking Authority said in a statement. “Our garages are a blank canvas perfect for talented artists like Michael Conlin.”
The project will end up costing around $12,000, which is coming out of the parking authority’s budget for garage upgrades. This mural is possible thanks to the collaboration of Albany Parking Authority, Albany Center Gallery, Albany Barn, and the Quackenbush Garage.
“It is tremendous to see so many of these Albany organizations come together for the greater good of the city we all love,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said in a statement. “This mural is emblematic of our thriving arts scene and the economic growth and success we’ve all witnessed downtown.”
Conlin was approached by Tony Iadicicco of the Albany Center Gallery about a year and a half ago about the possibility of painting a mural for the city. After much discussion and feedback, the idea of people “flocking” downtown for entertainment came up, and the thought for the birds materialized.
“I am honored to have been selected to paint this mural,” Conlin said in a statement. “This is the biggest project I’ve ever taken on and it’s humbling to know that my work will be seen by tens of thousands of people every day.”
Conlin owns Conlin Studios and he specializes in hand-painted art. You can see Conlin’s work in other local hot spots as well, including at Wolff’s Biergarten in Albany, Hamlet and Ghost in Saratoga Springs, and Capital Roots in Troy.
- All Over Albany: The parking garage as a canvas