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What Fuels You?

If you've ever visited the Empire State's Capital City of Albany, then you were most likely greeted by a unique skyline of mini-skyscrapers, historic architecture and a Performing Arts Center that resembles imagery out of a 1960's Sci-Fi Book. 

Unfortunately, aside from the cool cityscape, there isn't a whole lot going on in regards to Public Art. Over the years, Upstate New York has seen its major cities (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse) experience a decline in their population due to urban sprawl, suburbanization and the outsourcing of industry to foreign lands. As these things happened, funding for programs enriching neighborhood culture were/are typically the first things to take a hit when it comes to budget cuts, and this seems to have been the case in Albany.

As most of us know from visiting other cities, art typically plays a fundamental roll in the development and cultural experience that citizens and visitors get when navigating through the streets of it's unique neighborhoods. But for whatever reason there has not been a driving commitment to the creation of public art in Albany...until now.

In our first installment of What Fuels You? we followed Commercial Artist, Michael Conlin, who was commissioned by the Albany Parking Authority in conjunction with the Albany Center Gallery to paint a mural depicting six Bluebirds (New York's State Bird) in flight, soaring seven stories above Quakenbush Square in historic Downtown Albany.

We sat down with Mike to find out how the project was born and what went into creating this gigantic painting for the public to enjoy.

Michael Conlin: conlinstudios.com 
Instagram: @conlinstudios

Albany Center Gallery: albanycentergallery.org
Instagram: @albanycentergallery