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Local Artwork Hits the Streets

NEPA’s murals prove that art can go beyond the edges of a frame and the four walls of a gallery. These larger-than-life masterpieces turn blank walls and ordinary buildings into fun, creative works of art, right in our own neighborhoods. They brighten up our communities, add a splash of color to our daily commutes and show off our area’s creative side. That’s the beauty of public art—it’s everywhere, and it’s for everyone.

Sure, murals can offer cool selfie spots and photo ops. But even more, they tell a story. Many of our local murals reflect the history, culture and values of NEPA.

Take a walk around the neighborhood and discover our area’s incredible public artwork. NEPA is home to so many murals that we couldn’t even begin to list them all. But, we rounded up a few works that will give you a glimpse of our region’s vibrant art scene.

Lady of the Valley image
Lady of the Valley

Location: 19 North River St., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Artist: Evan Lovett | Completion: 2021

At six stories tall, the noble Lady of the Valley displays Wilkes-Barre’s history on the back of the Hotel Sterling Annex. The local references range from a pastoral valley scene from the Diamond City’s early days to the coal refineries of the anthracite boom. The mural was a project of the Street Art Society of NEPA and created by Philadelphia-based artist Evan Lovett, who also created the turtle mural at Empire Arcades in Edwardsville.

Dwight Schrute image
Dwight Schrute

Location: 1138 Capouse Ave., Scranton, PA
Artist: Mike Trovato | Completion: 2020

Fact: you can totally see Dwight Schrute on the streets of Scranton. This tribute to The Office is forever enshrined on the side of On&On, a cool, quirky marketplace that’s full of vintage treasures. Fans can’t help but stop and snap a photo.

Historic Honesdale image
Historic Honesdale

Location: 840 Main St., Honesdale, PA
Artists: Jeff George & Pauline Glykokokalos| Completion: 2018

This mural captures some of the proudest moments in Honesdale’s history. The focal point is the Stourbridge Lion, the steam engine that made the town the birthplace of America’s commercial railroad. The smaller panels display other noteworthy accomplishments, like the Wayne County Fair, the county’s glass industry and Highlights for Children, a magazine founded in Honesdale. The mural also honors famous Honesdale natives, including professional golfer Art Wall, Jr., and composer Dick Smith, who penned the classic Christmas song “Winter Wonderland.”

Inspiration image

Location: 48 South Main St., Pittston, PA
Artists: Michael Pilato & Yuriy Karabash | Completion: 2015

Pittston’s hometown heroes nearly come to life in this mural, which uses a trompe l’oeil effect to appear three-dimensional. The community nominated dozens of famous locals to include on the mural, from teachers and doctors to police officers and firefighters. You might spot some familiar faces, like football Hall of Famer Charley Trippi, Paralympic skier Stephanie Jallen and Pittston Tomato Festival founders Bob Conroy and Val D’Elia. A handy mural key will tell you who’s who.

Murals at the Dietrich Theater image
Murals at the Dietrich Theater

Location: 60 East Tioga St., Tunkhannock, PA
Artist: Bob Lizza | Completion: 2019-2021

The three murals at the Dietrich Theater showcase the heritage of the Endless Mountains. The back of the theater features a massive, two-panel spread of the famous Tunkhannock Viaduct. The meticulous detail and trompe l’oeil effect make it feel like you could step right into the scene. The newest mural, completed in 2021, is located on the side of the building facing Bridge Street. It portrays a vintage postcard of the Vosburg Neck, a dramatic oxbow bend in the Susquehanna River.

The Dream image
The Dream

Location: Corner of Mulberry St. & Adams Ave., Scranton, PA
Artists: Eric Bussart & Emmanuel Wisdom | Completion: 2021

This inspiring, 1,200-square-foot mural is part of Scranton Tomorrow’s Mural Arts Program. Bussart painted the image of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the vibrant morning glories, which represent resilience. Wisdom created the hand lettering for the quote. Both artists are Marywood alumni and collaborated in the past to create another mural, Human After All, at the Leonard Theater in Scranton.

Pocono Jazz image
Pocono Jazz

Location: Dansbury Park, East Stroudsburg, PA
Artist: Adia Gibbs | Completion: 2014

This mural in Dansbury Park pays homage to the COTA Jazz Fest, an annual celebration of the arts in the Delaware Water Gap. The festival has been a local tradition since 1978, drawing musicians and artists from all over the world. The mural depicts the festival’s founders, Phil Woods, Rick Chamberlain, and Ed Jourbert, along with American bandleader Fred Waring.

Creative Voltage image
Creative Voltage

Location: 7 North Wyoming St., Hazleton, PA
Artist: Mary Veronica Sweeney | Completion: 2017

In 1883, Hazleton became the third city in the world to have two-wire, three-phase streetlights. The introduction of electricity, along with the coal industry, turned the city into a hub for business. This mural on the back of Hazle Drugs depicts Thomas Edison’s creative spark arching over the city and transferring to six local children who were chosen to be painted.

Mural at American Legion Post 792 image
Mural at American Legion Post 792

Location: 116 North Main St., Shenandoah, PA
Artist: Martin Braukus | Completion: 2011

It took over two years to complete this massive mural, which stretches 150 feet long and 30 feet high across the American Legion Anthony P. Damato Medal of Honor Post 792 in Shenandoah. The mural includes a portrait of the post’s namesake surrounded by an American flag and flags representing different branches of the armed forces. The mural continues with a parade of people carrying the flags of the 21 different ethnic groups that have settled in town since its founding.

Carbondale Trailhead Mural image
Carbondale Trailhead Mural

Location: John Street Trailhead, Carbondale, PA
Artists: Ryan Hnat, Eric Bussart, Jimmy Lowe & Zach Yahn | Completion: 2021

Artists from Northeast Art Project teamed up with Valley in Motion to turn an old train abutment into a work of art. This 75-foot-long mural is right along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and truly brings history, art and culture together. About 300 community members weighed in on the design, which features a coal miner and a Delaware & Hudson steam engine that was used in Carbondale in the 1870s.

Tamaqua Remembers image
Tamaqua Remembers

Location: West Cottage Ave., Tamaqua, PA
Artist: Kevin Smith | Completion: 2018

In 2018, Tamaqua held a month-long Memorial Day celebration in honor of the holiday’s 150th anniversary. This mural was part of the town-wide effort to honor local veterans. The wall features the names of 92 local soldiers who lost their lives from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.

Heritage image

Location: 34 South Main St., Pittston, PA
Artists: Dwight Kirkland & Michael Colley | Completion: 2012

The warm, sepia tones and realistic details make this mural seem like a snapshot of Pittston’s industrial past. Located on the side of Pittston Dental, the mural depicts the hard-working miners and breaker boys of the anthracite coal era. Rows of women at sewing machines give a nod to the city’s garment industry, while a railroad worker and train engine are a reminder of the not-so-distant railroading days.

Mural at Susquehanna Depot image
Mural at Susquehanna Depot

Location: Erie Blvd., Susquehanna, PA
Artists: Michelle & Meghan Kiernan | Completion: 2020

A mother and daughter team helped transform an empty concrete wall into a vibrant display of Susquehanna’s history. This mural at Shops Plaza puts a local twist on Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The moonlit scene includes a train crossing over the Starrucca Viaduct, the oldest stone railroad bridge in Pennsylvania that’s still in use today. Other landmarks include the town’s water tower, the Starrucca House, a church and local storefronts. The mural was supported by the Susquehanna Community Development Association.

Danseur de Corde image
Danseur de Corde

Location: 328 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA
Artist: Joel Carson Jones, assisted by Ashley Kostak | Completion: 2021

Translated to “Rope Dancer,” this mural pays tribute to Scranton’s vaudeville days. Performances that did well in Scranton would often go on to New York City, which inspired the old showbiz saying, “If you can play Scranton, you can play anywhere.” In fact, stars like the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and Harry Houdini (just to name a few) performed right here in the Electric City. The mural’s trompe l’oeil effect and fluttering feathers make for a great photo op. It is also part of Scranton Tomorrow’s Mural Arts Program.

Murals at Yuengling Brewery image
Murals at Yuengling Brewery

Location: 420 Mahantongo St., Pottsville, PA
Artist: Mark Sassani | Completion: 2018

Two murals outside of Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville will give you a glimpse at the history behind America’s oldest brewery. The doors were originally painted by the late Dave Naydock, a beloved muralist from Pottsville. When weather and time took their toll, artist Mark Sassini re-created the design with a fresh, fun twist. One door shows brewery workers rolling the kegs, while the other features a mule-drawn delivery wagon.

Together We Can image
Together We Can

Location: Corner of North Pine St. & East Oak St., Hazleton, PA
Artist: Jason Braun | Completion: 2017

Artist Jason Braun and local students from the Communities That Care Youth Outreach Program created this mural to celebrate peace and diversity. The mural borders Pine Street Park and shows how everyone can do their part to build up the community. A carrier pigeon represents unity through hard work, and a dove with an olive branch represents peace. The budding flower symbolizes the growth when everyone works together for the common good.

Welcome to Historic Lansford image
Welcome to Historic Lansford

Location: West Patterson St., Lansford, PA
Artist: Ryan Hnat | Completion: 2019

Ryan Hnat, a Coaldale native and founder of the Northeast Art Project in Scranton, turned a plain, ordinary garage into a work of art. The mural greets drivers as they head down Route 209 in Lansford. It shows a sunset over the historic No. 6 coal breaker, which once stood near the eastern end of town.  The mural was commissioned by Lansford Alive.

Mural at The Strange & Unusual image
Mural at The Strange & Unusual

Location: 467 Wyoming Ave., Kingston, PA
Artist: Karilyn Alex | Completion: 2019

Local tattoo artist Karilyn Alex created this dark, nature-inspired mural on the side of The Strange & Unusual Oddities Parlor. Moths, rats, skulls and more cover the entire wall. The nighttime theme perfectly matches shop’s spooky, gothic vibe.

Musical Mural image
Musical Mural

Location: 517 Main St., Stroudsburg, PA
Artist: Patrick Cummings | Completion: 2018

This mural on the side of The Cure Café shows the evolution of music, from an old-school blues guitarist to rock’n’roll legends to electronic artists. You’ll spot a whole spectrum of genres, as well as musical icons like Elvis, David Bowie, Prince and the Notorious B.I.G.

Scranton Mural at Zummo’s Café image
Scranton Mural at Zummo’s Café

Location: 916 Marion St., Scranton, PA
Artists: Manon Riley & Ryan Hnat | Completion: 2021

This mural outside of Zummo’s Café celebrates all things Scranton, from the city’s famous steam engines to a stapler stuck in Jello (Office fans will understand). Coffee beans and a steaming mug reflect the present-day café, while the shoes and candy reflect the shop’s past life as a candy shop and shoe repair store. The mural’s dedication ceremony helped raise money for the Women’s Resource Center of Scranton.

Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 11/15/2021.