Alum Undertakes Mural Project in Cortland

Mural on Cortland Corset Building

Tompkins Cortland Community College graduate Crystal Lyon is leading an effort to bring public art to Cortland in a big way. Lyon has received a CNY Arts Decentralized Grant and has taken on the role of creative director and artist of the Cortland Corset Company Mural and Restoration Project, which looks to beautify the 129-year-old landmark building at 75 E. court Street in Cortland. 

Lyon, who also tutors in the College’s art department, created a design that celebrated the past of the building as both a corset and wagon company, blending it with a “Victorian steampunk” aesthetic. Work has been ongoing over the summer with completion targeted for before the Cortland Corset Building Showcase on September 29. 

While the $2,500 grant got the project started, more fundraising is needed to complete the work. In addition to volunteers from the community and the local colleges and schools, she has started a GoFundMe page. She is hopeful others will share her view of the value of this project to her hometown.

“It is a community-based project meant to be a focal point, drawing attention to and awareness of what the current incarnation of the Cortland Corset Building has to offer,” said Lyon. “It has become a creative hub for artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs - a hidden gem.”

Image of Crystal Lyon

Tompkins Cortland Alum Crystal Lyon