LEWISBURG — A small portion of Cherry Alley in Lewisburg is transforming into a colorful work of art.
As part of the Lewisburg Arts Council’s Celebration of the Arts in Lewisburg, artist Jim Reid on Saturday hosted guided tours of murals he painted along Cherry Alley near North Third Street. The Celebration continues today with more guided tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
“This is where the garbage trucks come out, this is where the workers come to take their breaks and have cigarettes,” Reid said to the tour members. “It’s a real nice part of a town. To put the murals and have an outdoor art gallery in an alley is fascinating.”
Reid hosted the 45-minute tours for three murals inspired by the artwork of various artists. His goal is to represent 12 artists in seven murals.
He worked on them through 2020 and early spring 2021. At least one of the murals took over 200 hours between conception, design and execution.
Reid divides his time between Lewisburg and Barcelona. He started his art career in 1988 while living in New York City and he continued painting in Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich and Spain. In the 1990s, he studied at the Art Students’ League in New York under Robert Beauchamp. He has had studios in Bisbee, Arizona, San Francisco, Miami, New York, and Lewisburg. He has produced artworks in oil paint, sculpture, watercolor, pencil and charcoal.
Reid has worked with New York artist Hunt Slonem and photographer David Spagnolo. He was a visiting artist at the Fundació de Cultura de Catalunya in Barcelona from 1999 to 2003. There, he studied under the sculptor Xavier Corberó. After returning to the United States, he opened Top Floor Studio, an art studio for children and teens, which lasted from 2005 to 2015. In 2016, he opened a similar art club in Barcelona called Kids’ Art Party.
The project in Lewisburg was spearheaded by Bob Albin. He organized the ideas and coordinated with the building owners, said Reid.
Beth Bitler, of Lewisburg, said the tour was “great.”
“It’s a neat idea and something different,” said Bitler. “It gets people out learning about the town. It’s great to see this going on in a small town.”
Reid said he would be working on additional murals in the alley through September with the help of community donations.
“It’s a community project, it’s the town who owns this,” he said. “I’m grateful for the donations.”
The public enjoys watching the process, he said.
“It’s fun for them,” he said.
The Celebration of the Arts on Saturday also included urban sketching, architecture photo challenge, botanical mono-printing with Gel Plates in Hufnagle Park and Arts in the Park. The Celebration continues today with more guided tours and the photo challenge as well as on May 8 with more guided tours, children’s garden fun workshop and music in the park.