I’ve lived in a lot of places that are packed with creativity: Manhattan…Chicago…Providence, RI. Each one has a vibrant art and indie craft life of its own, brimming with uniqueness. When I first moved to Syracuse, NY I wondered if I’d find that same type of creative scene.

At first, I thought hope was lost. And then? I found the most welcoming, interesting, and hungry art community I’ve come across yet. I was thrilled when I landed, by complete chance, in the Strathmore section of the city. A neighborhood with it’s own art show, Art on The Porches, designed to celebrate the area’s historical homes, as well as the many local artists who live here.

Above you can see a poster I created for the event in 2009, inspired by the great Government WPA posters of the 1930′s. Whether I am showing and selling my work, or just attending as a neighbor and buyer with my family, it is one of my favorite neighborhood events and I look forward to it each year. Sometimes I  think my children get even more excited about it than I do. Syracuse has indeed struggled with it’s artistic identity over the years, but as a city resident I’ve been impressed by how many artists and non-artists alike, deeply value what Syracuse has to offer in the way of locally produced art and handmade goods. New festivals and art shows are cropping up all the time, and I love those too, but first in my heart will always be Art on the Porches.

Erin Nowak