ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When fire destroyed City Blue Imaging on Christmas Eve 2020 in Rochester, it also took many of the murals that decorated its exterior. That mural artist, Shawn Dunwoody, has turned that missing public artwork into t-shirts to help spread some positivity around the city and beyond.
The City Blue Imaging building that was on Scio Street was one of Dunwoody’s public art canvasses. His first mural on the building was five years ago to celebrate City Blue’s 90th anniversary. His last mural was painted in September. It’s still standing.
“I guess there is still a message of spreading love. We have above there “Love Yourself,” so love still remains despite all the disasters and tragedies that can happen in your life or town. Always continue with love,” said Dunwoody.
Dunwoody says his murals became a destination for people. They took selfies and group photographs and just stood, looked and reflected. As we walked the empty lot where the building was, he dug up a mural brick that still sits on the site.
“I’ve collected a few. Many people have,” said Dunnwoody.
To keep those missing mural messages going, he started “Blue and Sentimental,” a line of his Rochester inspired murals printed on t-shirts.
“I thought, ‘OK well it’s gone and people say they miss it so let’s try and keep that connection and hope alive and rebirth,’” Dunnwoody said. “So I had to re-engineer some of them so they could go onto an article of clothing, on T-shirts so it was a great experience for me as well to relive that moment of re-creation of some of those pieces and what some of those murals meant to people and how they connected to the community.”
City Blue Imaging president Mark Clearly showed off the Dunwoody mural tee he bought.
“I thought Shawn could come up with something inspirational which he did,” said Cleary. “And that was really one of the things that I thought was the saddest when the building caught fire that night, is that all the amazing memories that so many people had attached to that was gone.”
Murals will return to Scio Street. Dunwoody is planning to fill the remaining wall of the building this summer. He is looking for input from the community on what messages and images to display.
If you’d like to purchase a Dunwoody mural T-shirt, check out Dunwoode.design/blue-sentimental.