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Western New York has seen a resurgence of public art, specifically murals, in recent years. They’ve ranged from maps of Buffalo to local phrases and abstract art compilations. In 2020, the movement continued, and Mirror Matter Graphic Designer, Tim Meyers, was able to contribute to the surge with his “Canalligator” mural in Medina, NY. 

Form Foundation, an art movement that aims to “bring modern public art, cultural events, and engaging experiences to the community of Medina, New York” partnered with Tim to create their first in a series of murals centered around the village. The goal? Bring a bright, modern and playful scene to life along the backside of several Main Street businesses, helping to generate tourism to Medina, which is located along the Erie Canal, about 30 minutes from Mirror Matter’s Buffalo. 

After doing some research on the town and its history, Tim learned of the “Gator” urban legend, who according to villagers, once lived in the canal. He ran with it, and characterized the gator and other wildlife to develop a 2D, flat-patterned “Canalligator” that now adorns the alleyway. 

Initially designed in digital format, Tim sliced the eventual surface into seven panels to be projected across the buildings when it came time to paint. Projecting allowed Tim to save time and materials, while guaranteeing proper scaling and proportions. Working through the night, Tim traced over initial projected lines and followed by filling in large areas of color. Once the infrastructure was built, he polished the line work and added the finer details. 

After three months of work—including prep and execution—the piece was finished, and has since become a selfie destination for Western New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike. His favorite part of the process was disconnecting from regular daily routines, feeling connected with the environment, and leaping across buildings and painting upside down on rooftops. 

So if you find yourself in Medina, make sure to stop by and see his work!