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Mural by Joe Iurato

A team of property owners, architects and city agencies worked together to renovate this now walkable and engaging alleyway. Artist Joe Iurato’s mural references Troy’s history, industries and communities in his iconic style.



Mural by Joe Iurato
Curated by Belinda Colon

Franklin Alley (aka Franklin St)  is one of Troy’s most emblematic alleyways, spanning River Street to Congress.  Each block poses different challenges, with its first block, from River to Broadway its most concerning.  For decades, businesses and restaurants used it as a trash service.  In 2019, The Arts Center, along with the City of Troy, set out to rehabilitate the alley through the use of public art.  Artist Joe Iurato was chosen for his unique process and fabrication, in which most murals are fabricated onto metal surfaces and then installed onto the brick, leaving the brick unpainted.  

For over a year, Joe traveled to Troy to learn about Troy.  The Hart Cluett Museum worked with Joe to help him understand the history of the alley and area, from its industrial uses to its residents.  Then, Joe met with the Boys and Girls Club over several sessions, who were the inspiration for the paper airplanes seen throughout the project.  Joe creates characters that are composites of the stories he heard.  Some refer to Troy’s industrial past, such as an ironworker, others refer to our history of newspapers, and others refer to retail stores that once existed here. Most refer to the children he met who represent the future of Troy.  

Joe installed his murals after the City of Troy worked to resurface the roadway, rebuild the sidewalks.  Finally, the City installed the lighting.  Together we changed the use of the alley so that it is now a beloved asset of our community.  


Joe Iurato


Joe Iurato is a multidisciplinary artist whose works are built on a foundation of stencils and aerosol. Falling somewhere in between simplistic and photorealistic, his multi-layer stencils offer a distinctly clean and illustrative aesthetic. While Iurato’s murals have adorned neighborhoods along the east coast United States for years, he’s more recently become noted for the unique placement and photography of miniature painted wood cutouts in public spaces. Utilizing the outdoor environment to create site-specific installations, Iurato creates windows into a narrative formed by personal experiences. Each individual work of art highlights the potential for interaction and storytelling within public space and transforms common land/cityscapes into carefully crafted scenes. Before leaving each installation behind, he documents it with a photograph. The photographs offer specific and intentional viewpoints of the artwork in relation to its surroundings, manipulating our perception of scale and dimensionality.

Click the image below to see a video about the installation of this mural.

Franklin Alley Boy with Plane Arts Center Troy


The Franklin Alley Redevelopment and the Murals by Joe Iurato were generously supported by: Troy Local Development Corporation, Troy Capital Resource Corporation, National Grid, Upstate Coalition for a Fairgame, Howard and Bush Foundation, Ellie Kittle Ingalsbe, The Massry Charitable Foundation, MVP Health Care, The O’Bryan Family Foundation, The Troy Redevelopment Foundation, The Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, Regional Economic Development Council. 

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