Downtown Utica tunnel gets a makeover

Nevaeh Tanner, Reporter

Students joined community members to cover offensive grafitti under Hall Road in Utica (Natalie Garwood)

Students, teachers, and friends gathered in downtown Utica to repaint the tunnel and rid it of obscene graffiti.

“It’s a new fresh start for downtown,” junior Athena Gorney said. “I was happy to see people come together.”

Senior Alexis Daniels painted a huge face the height of the tunnel’s wall, with one green and yellow eye, and the other one black with a rose in it. She included thorns running down a crack in the tunnel wall, and a really big smile with sharp teeth showing.

“I wanted to give more character to a part of the city and thought doing so in the tunnel and through my appreciation of art would be a way for everyone to get something out of it,” Daniels said. “There was no inspiration for my design; I just looked at the wall, put some paint on it, and went where my brushes took me.”

Junior Sophia LaBrecque’s contribution was an orange with colors bursting out.

“It’s a very gratifying feeling knowing that people go past your artwork every day,” LaBrecque said. “I was inspired by different music and art that made me want to create.”

While the artists wanted to beautify their community, they were disappointed to learn how quickly it was vandalized.

“I have not yet returned to the tunnel, nor have I been able to finish my work, if it is still there to finish,” senior Mallory Kort said “Those who vandalize the tunnels should consider what it means to make art and to picture themselves in our position, because they too are capable of making something special.”
Kort wanted to leave a mark on her city and provoke some thoughts through her work.

“I began painting two of my characters whom represent order and chaos, justice and betrayal,” Kort said. “Neither is portrayed as good or bad, and it is up to the viewer to choose for themselves.”