Return home

Mural trail to showcase art across county

Thomas Caputo
Staff writer
Posted 5/12/23

Oneida County Tourism has launched the Oneida County Mural Trail as a way to showcase the many murals across the Mohawk Valley.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Mural trail to showcase art across county


ONEIDA COUNTY — Oneida County Tourism has launched the Oneida County Mural Trail as a way to showcase the many murals across the Mohawk Valley.

The mural trail is an online directory that shows people where murals are in the county and gives them information about the paintings and the artists who made them. Oneida County Tourism is hopeful that the trail will spark an interest in art and become a useful resource for tourists and locals alike. “This has been something we’ve talked about in our office for a couple of years because we began seeing murals popping up in different locations across the county. We also noticed that people love taking photos with them,” said Sarah Foster Calero, director of communications, TV and film for Oneida County Tourism.

There are currently 13 murals listed on their website, however, Oneida County Tourism is expecting to increase the number of murals on the trail over time, as more start to appear across the county.

The Oneida County Mural Trail comes as conversations about murals have become rampant, as the mural finalists and their designs chosen to replace the former sunburst mural at Liberty Bell Park in Utica have become a controversial topic.

City officials previously called out for mural artists from around the city and the nation to design and paint a mural at Liberty Bell Park, due to the wall of the mural previously being structurally unsound and needing repair. City officials, along with Munson, established a committee to go through the 28 proposals received from artists all over the country and narrow down the choices to four finalists.

The finalists and their designs were unveiled to the public last month, and the public was able to vote for which designs they liked the best in a ranked choice voting style. Voting took place at Utica City Hall and Munson from April 25 to May 5. Steven Teller, whose mural design of colorful roses and bluebirds across a black and white backdrop of historical moments in Utica was voted the winner, will soon be able to paint their design at Liberty Bell Park to become the park’s new mural.

Reception of the mural process and selectivity was met with mixed reactions. On social media, many people criticized the process and the fact that the four finalists were not local, and many believed that their designs did not reflect the city. Photos of alternative murals began circulating around social media, and a petition began collecting signatures to keep the design of the old sunburst mural. Local artists in the community, however, praised the designs and encouraged other people to support artists regardless of where they are from.

Amidst the drama, Oneida County Tourism is looking to change the current narrative regarding murals.

“We hope to shift the conversation about murals to a more positive one. By supporting our local artists, while simultaneously welcoming out-of-towners and bringing community organizations together, we can have a positive impact on Oneida County,” Foster Calero said. “Public art is essential to the growth of our region, and I hope the mural trail can encourage and support this.”

To see the murals on the Oneida County Mural Trail, visit:


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here