When you think of a graffiti artist, Ian Wilson is not the guy who comes to mind.
The Brooklyn native is a 38-year-old radiologist at University of Rochester Medical Center. Urban wall art happens to be his passion.
“I grew up around graffiti artists. My brother used to paint the subways in the 80s,” Wilson said.
Last summer, Wilson gathered a team of artists from around the world and Rochester to for an event painting murals around town. He found many willing building owners.
“Rochester has a lot of walls,” he said. “This place is pretty gray half the year. (The murals) add color and imagery to the city.”
In July, Wilson is organizing a second wall-painting extravaganza around the Public Market. He calls it “Wall Therapy.” He’s bringing in artists from Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Belgium. He’d like Rochester to be known for wall art.
“It’s a benefit to any city when you can stimulate the imagination. That’s the power of mural art, to elicit a visceral reaction. That’s what art does.”
Wilson has been funding the bulk of the project, kicking in most of the $16,000 needed last year. Next year, he’d like to find walls along El Camino Trail.
“Where should art live? It can live in public.”