Thursday, December 2, 2021

Esmond Lyons mural eyed for Elizabeth Miller’s Park Street Building

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor

Glens Falls artist Esmond Lyons aims to make one corner of the City — well, one wall — a little nicer than it is today.

“So,” Mr. Lyons says, “I walk around town and look at things and think, how can I make this look better than it does?”

Esmond Lyons aims to paint a mural like what he’s holding here on this blank wall of the 15 Park Street building that new owner Elizabeth Miller is renovating. He said this art piece is “only a start, a crude rendering” to convey what he hopes to paint. Chronicle photo/Cathy DeDe

He has proposed to paint a large mural on the side of Elizabeth Miller’s newly purchased three-story brick building at 15 Park Street. It would occupy the east-facing wall that overlooks a parking lot, facing toward Glen Street.

The project has won Mrs. Miller’s approval, she tells The Chronicle. Mr. Lyons also has preliminary approval from the City Planning Board, he said.

Seeks $22,800, Go Fund Me

He’s launched a Go Fund Me page to crowd source the project, seeking $22,800 to cover expected costs for paint supplies, scaffolding, lights, insurance, and his own creative efforts and time.

His working design imagines a theatrical supply company, in keeping with Mrs. Miller’s Park Street Theater across the street. It is scaled to the building — replicating “fenestration,” he says — the windows on the other sides of the structure — realistically, and with images of artists and others behind each.

An archway at the center is overlarge, “what I call cinematic,” he said. It depicts an actor and a dancer, with a view of the Alps behind them.

“It’s more than an arch,” he says. “It’s a portal, an entry point into another world. The vehicle for that transition is art and music.”

He says, “I was inspired by what Elizabeth Miller has done with the Park. There’s someone who believes in the city, to invest that kind of money to make it beautiful — and she’s not the only one doing it.”

He asserts, “America has run out of places as nice as Glens Falls.” And, separately, “It’s time that Glens Falls claims its artistic heritage. We have more of it, more artists than any community around here. People are so very literate in art here.”

Mr. Lyons said he hopes to raise funds for the project by the first of July, so he has three months of warm weather to work on the mural “at the level of detail I would like to see done.”

He adds, “It’s most overwhelming and amazing how supportive people have been about this so far.” He said, “once this first one is done, we can do so many more.”

“It’s something I really want to do and it’s gonna happen — or I’m gonna break a leg trying,” Mr. Lyons jokes.

Find details at GoFundMe.com (search for Esmond Lyons), on Mr. Lyons’ Facebook page, or call him at 307-6665.

Muralist, and more

Mr. Lyons has long specialized in murals, typically interior projects for homeowners or businesses, here and across the country. His works often have trompe l’oeil elements. He says he has moved away from that high-end art in recent years and does less traveling, preferring to stay here.

He also has a body of figurative works, landscapes and abstracts, and plays guitar, among other instruments.

“I’ve done everything,” he says — including paint runway lines for an airport (“smelly, hot” work, he notes.).

When he lived in Philadelphia, he says, that city was in the process of installing several thousand murals. They are now an attraction themselves, and also helped to transform whole neighborhoods, he said.

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