Sawhorse Cafe gets new mural from Los Angeles artist
From a white wall to a mural, the Sawhorse Cafe, in collaboration with Casey Gleghorn, of New York City and formerly of Williamsport, brought in the LA-based artist, Jesse Draxler, to transform the once-blank wall. The mural was installed over three days at the beginning of August.
The owners of the Sawhorse Cafe, Jesse and Hannah Darrow, were brainstorming one night what they could do with the side of their business, as they knew there was a lot of passing traffic, said Jesse Darrow, of Williamsport. Shortly after, Gleghorn visited town about two days later and the Darrows asked him for some advice and opinion on the mural.
The mural “organically happened when Jesse Darrow … approached me to help him find an artist for the side of his building,” Gleghorn said.
Casey “took the idea and really ran with it,” Jesse Darrow said. “We are true believers in artistic freedom, so we didn’t want to corral anyone, so it was collaborative, with most of the power being theirs.”
As a gallery director in NYC, Gleghorn represents some artists and has worked with Draxler prior, Gleghorn said. Draxler was his first choice for the mural. From Gleghorn’s relationships to having access to private funding, everything fell into place over four months.
To put together a mural of this size, the Pajama Factory donated a space to create the piece, Gleghorn said. In return, Draxler created a new piece for the Pajama Factory courtyard.
“We wanted something that was thought-provoking, not too graphic, and something that someone can look at every day without getting tired of it,” Jesse Darrow said. “It’s also very striking,” Hannah Darrow added.
The black-and-white mural will be at the Sawhorse Cafe for five years and the owners hope it will generate conversation, Jesse Darrow said.
By bringing in an LA-based artist, it creates a more diverse art scene in the Williamsport community, Jesse Darrow said. The Sawhorse Cafe loves art in the community and this mural is not just for their business — it’s for the community, Hannah Darrow added.
“Art is about communication through a different kind of language. The arts grow when connecting various scenes from all over the globe,” Gleghorn said.
Having public art, like murals, allows visitors the chance to stay and explore the city and can improve “local economy,” Gleghorn said. Visitors may stop by a local restaurant or bookstore or may tell their friends to go visit Williamsport.
Inside the Sawhorse Cafe, they also brings in artists, many being local to the region, to display their work to build the community by showcasing one more “producer,” Jesse and Hannah Darrow said. The Cafe brings in a new artist every two months. It generates conversation and community involvement. The Sawhorse Cafe currently has artists booked until June 2019.
“Williamsport is lucky to have a place like … Sawhorse keeping it fresh both in a cafe and in the local arts culture,” Gleghorn said. “The most vibrant of towns/cities have a strong presence of public art. And the best thing about Williamsport right now is there is not a shortage of walls for potential murals.”