ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Centertown parking garage in downtown Elmira has gotten a major facelift over the last few months with a mural as tall as the garage itself.

Community Arts of Elmira held a ribbon cutting for the mural, titled “Community and Commerce” by artist Sam SOMO Somostrada on Nov. 22, 2022. Elmira City Councilman Brent Stermer said the mural is one of the tallest in Western New York and adds to the growing collection of murals throughout the City.

“It’s showing off some of the talent we have locally,” Stermer said. “One of the big reasons you do these is to bring people to areas that have previously been blighted… When you do these, it takes pieces of our community that are normally dark or not so fun and makes them interactive.”

The mural on the northwest corner of the garage features a barge, a film reel, a firetruck, and a clutch from the Hilliard corporation, highlighting and referencing historic figures and the commerce of Elmira. It also features images of flowers, bees, and children playing.

Stermer added that public art is one of the largest pushes for tourism across the U.S., and this mural aims to help bring Elmira’s public art scene up to speed. Stermer said that Community Arts is planning even more mural sites for 2023, with “Muralfest” kicking off on June 3.