GARY — More than 60 graffiti artists are going to freshen up the outdoor gallery along Miller's Lake Street neighborhood Saturday.
Artists like Felix "Flex" Maldonado will paint new murals on walls owned by local businesses along the lakefront neighborhood's main commercial strip during the Lake Effekt 2017 Summer Expo street festival from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday. Visitors can watch the vibrant graffiti art being created, listen to live bands, sample food and imbibe craft beer in a beer tent provided by Flamingo Pizza.
“This is our third Lake Effekt. The last one was quite successful, with more than 800 attendees from all over the area,” said Meg Roman, Miller Beach Arts and Creative District executive director. “All of the businesses who have murals painted on their walls are eager to do it again. The artists love the vibe of the street festival and are vying for the best spot to create their murals.”
The Miller Beach Arts and Creative District stages the event every two years. It has featured internationally acclaimed artists like Hebru Brantley and resulted in widely photographed landmark works, like Maldonado's Jackson 5 Mural.
This year, Ismael Nieves of the famed CISA, or Crazy Indiana Style Artists, crew out of East Chicago will curate the expo. It will include local muralists from Gary and trash cans painted by children, which will be placed along Lake Street.
Musicians will include classic rockers Michael Young, Buddy Goettsch and Jeff Sarver, eclectic accordion music by Eve and Jordy and the Barb Silverman Trio from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
“It’s a wonderful collaboration of volunteers from the community joining along with the business owners to turn Lake Street into a party where life, culture, art and community can be celebrated,” Roman said. “There’s a lot of interaction between the artists and the community when the event is going on. It elicits tons of conversation after the fact throughout the year, drawing visitors to the area who stop and take pictures every day.”
The event is free, but donations to the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District are appreciated.