CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It’s so much more than just a splash of color, the well- and not-so-well-known murals popping up all over 2-1-6 provide exposure to hidden corners of Cleveland and some businesses even say it’s boosting revenue.
Some say that if you’re not looking you could miss it, but some of Cleveland’s social media influencers say that’s the allure of the city’s public art. I hope you’ll watch the story Wednesday night at 11 p.m. on Cleveland 19 News.
“It’s one of those surprises again. You don’t expect to see it and when you’re turning that corner right here or you hear someone talk about it, you’re like I wanna go get that picture. I wanna share with my friends to say that I was here," Kristen Jantonio, Communications Specialist for Destination Cleveland.
Those in the know say the Cleveland art scene has exploded in recent years.
It’s one of the reasons why Paul founded Graffiti HeArt.
The non-profit promotes urban graffiti and street art and has been coloring Cleveland’s neighborhoods for the last five years.
“The Greetings from Cleveland mural was really the renewal of the first major significant public mural in a long time," said Paul.
That was in 2015. Since then, dozens of murals have popped up, all across the city.
“It draws other people to come to those destinations that might then even improve and increase the viability of the businesses that are being created and developed and opened in those communities," said Paul.
The owners of Bigmouth Donut Company in Hingetown say it’s working.
Ever since the Prince Mural went up down the street, so have doughnut sales.
“We had people from France, we had people from India, we had people from Japan, coming through the donut shop," said Kelly Brewer, co-owner of Bigmouth Donut Company. “So we’re seeing a lot of pictures of our donuts in front of murals and things like that."
And sharing the photos on social media.
The “love doves” displayed at West 25th Street heading toward Detroit Avenue have attracted people from all over the world, who snap photos and share them on social media.
Destination Cleveland’s social team monitors the hashtag #ThisIsCle and regularly sees street art postings.
Jantonio says this a unique way to share experiences about Cleveland, especially for tourists who want to visit.
“Hey look what I saw in Cleveland. This is cool. We have this pizza mural. We have this Prince mural. We have the Cleveland scripts signs and so it helps to continue changing perceptions about Cleveland but also maybe peaking interest for a person who hasn’t been here before," said Jantonio.
Social media influences say Cleveland’s public art scene has definitely given them a boost and the likes.
“They come here and it’s just word of mouth and more and more people come coming here looking at this art and it’s amazing that it can bring the city together and that it can bring people to the city," said Brandon Zingale, a social media influencer.
“It really is a draw. We know that the sports, the arts, the public theaters, we know that that’s a draw, well public art is also a draw in Cleveland," said Paul.
We’d love to see some of your best mural shots. Jump on my Facebook post and share yours in the comments, please.
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