Muralist hopes to add vibrancy to Watertown with work at WPBS

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Kelly Curry, a mural artist based in Alexandria Bay, is almost finished painting a vibrant, 83- by 16-foot design on the side of the WPBS-TV building on Arsenal Street, a project which has been nine months in the making.

Curry said that the most time-consuming aspect of the project was designing it, because the mural features several trademarked characters, like Clifford the Big Red Dog, Daniel Tiger and Xavier Riddle. She has had to work with the companies that own the rights to these characters, who are very particular about where Curry could place them in relation to other characters, and how she could present them.

Curry has an extensive mural painting resume, with much of her work focused on private commissions that give her lots of artistic freedom. In 2022, she painted a mural for a client in Alexandria Bay that was designed to be viewed inside their elevator — the painting moving past as it ascends or descends. At the bottom, one views an underwater landscape, and by the time they reach the top, they get a picturesque view from a dock.

The companies involved in her most recent work made for a different creative process than Curry is used to. For the background, she was given three choices, and she told them, “There’s no way those will work for this mural.”

She asked them if she could make a background by combining elements from all three choices, and they were willing to accept this compromise.

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