JOHNSON CITY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Another large scale colorful mural is gracing the side of an historic building in the Triple Cities.
This mural is one from an artist who traveled up the coast to share his passion for blending art and leadership into one lifestyle.
Born in South Florida, Steven Teller grew up surrounded by paintings from Monet and Picasso and traveling to Brooklyn to visit The Met.
His family always had a love for artistic expression, his mother being an art history major and his grandmother being a painter.
After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design and searching for work, he recalled his late grandmother’s words of encouragement to “just keep going.”
In 2015, the possibility to influence the public sphere with his talents drove him to paint murals, which he said is akin to “painting a billboard” for the community. Although murals are enormous undertakings, Teller said he loves seeing the relationship his audience develops with his work.
“Through painting murals, I kind of realized the capacity of impact that it has,” said Teller “I like to use the word “intrude” because it has a negative connotation, but I think that, you know, for the people who are locals and are driving that same road everyday and then all of a sudden there’s a piece of artwork–I noticed how impactful it was for those people.”
A main inspiration for the artist’s work is the great outdoors. Teller said that experiencing the harmonies of nature has improved his mental health and he hopes that his murals expand the reach of this peaceful effect.
Teller’s love for realism drew him to include the bird of New York State, the Eastern Blue Bird, and the flower of New York State, the rose, while his love for Baroque era art inspired the vibrant colors and strokes you see behind me.
When Teller was first matched with the owner of the building his mural now decorates, he was told that the Greater Binghamton area was undergoing renovations, and he wanted to be a part of that progress.
“They’re bringing the Binghamton Pharmaceutical campus in, Binghamton University, and so they’re redoing some of the buildings so that was another reason for me to want to actually bring in another powerful piece because if there is anything I can do to help the community revamp itself and become a little bustling pocket then all the more power to it,” he said.
Teller has brought his keen eye for human nature to streets and festivals across the world, hoping to inspire a sense of certainty and freedom in all of us.
You can find Steven Teller’s artwork in Johnson City at the intersection of North Broad Avenue and Main Street and you can purchase his masterpieces at steventellerarts.com.