Two weeks ago, stores across the country were boarding up their windows due to fears of rioting as a result of the 2020 presidential election. Huge slabs of plywood covered up festive displays and stole the character from shopping districts across the country. One New York artist hated seeing the joy taken away from her neighborhood and decided to use her artistic skills to add a splash of color to the boarded-up windows.
Founder of Cheery Designs Elyssa Dorf reached out to her local Pottery Barn store when she decided she could not only bring color and festive cheer to the store but also give the public an opportunity to enjoy street art for free. In the Cheery x Pottery Barn collaboration, Elyssa wanted to turn something negative into a thing of beauty, especially during the Covid era when everyone is looking for sources of joy during a tough time. Not only would the piece attract more people to the store, but it would act as a street art exhibit.
Working with Pottery Barn’s theme of gnomes and winter wonderland, Elyssa painted an incredible snowy scene featuring an adorable gnome. Aptly captioned “There’s no place like gnome”, the piece is a lighthearted reminder that we still need to do our part to flatten the curve and reduce the impact of coronavirus, but now with a Christmas spirit.
Elyssa donated her time and materials to help brighten up her neighborhood, designing something that has actually encouraged Pottery Barn to keep their boards up longer than originally planned. She said: “This project goes back to my idea of ‘spreading cheer’. The boarded-up buildings are sad and detract customers from the store. By adding ‘a cheery on top’ it makes the windows happy again.”
With Elyssa being a huge Pottery Barn shopper herself, she approached the store manager with her idea and was given the go-ahead, working off the concept of ‘walkable street art’. She also explained that with everybody understandably getting into the Christmas spirit early this year, a colorful mural is the second-best alternative to New York’s usual signature window displays.
Her first every plywood mural art project is now displayed for all New Yorkers to enjoy, free of charge. You can find out more about Cheery Designs and Elyssa’s digital artwork on Instagram and the website.