A few bits about that big, new mural going up on the side of the Quackenbush Garage in Albany

Quackenbush Garage Albany Hellbent in progress

Maybe you've noticed the new mural going up on the south face of the Quackenbush Garage in downtown Albany.

Here's what's up with that, along with a few in-progress pics...

The mural is part of the same collaboration between the Albany Parking Authority and the Albany Center Gallery that produced the bluebird mural by Michael Conlin on the opposite side of the garage. The goal for both works is to help make downtown more inviting and beautiful, to foster the sense of place there.

The artist creating this new mural is Hellbent, who's based in Brooklyn and has works around the country.

For the mural here in Albany, he said he's taken inspiration from elements such as Dutch porcelain, the orange and blue of the city flag, and some of local deco architecture.

"Instead of this flat, gray building I want it be these colorful floating panels that are hovering up above it to add some dimension and character to it," he explained.

Albany has a bunch of murals, and Hellbent said he's gotten the chance to tour a bit and see a lot of them.

"I think there's some great hidden gems," he said. "And I think that's kind of the fun of public art is that when you stumble upon it. Or if you go and seek it -- it's the traveling and all the experiences you get to get to that place. You can make a day out of it. Like, I'm going to go explore the Warehouse District -- and there's a lot of great stuff over there. Or I'm going come downtown and see the sculptures."

He also joked about the way he often uses murals and other public art as landmarks to navigate by, and maybe this new work could serve a similar purpose.

"Hopefully it can help people not get lost -- and everybody's into it, too!"

Hellbent is aiming to have the mural finished by this weekend, but that will depend on the weather.


There at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.


Cool art, but it doesn't change the fact that downtown is riddled with parking structures and large surface lots. These are holes in the city that best employ a handful of people and provide little direct benefit to the city.

Given that the city has a lot of untaxed land, they need to make sure that all the rest is highly productive. Auto-oriented development, like garages and drive-throughs are near the bottom of the list.

I approve! - but hope that these will be maintained and repainted / or painted over / when they deteriorate

Well it looks like Americans are finally at last sick of living surrounded by a drab ugly banal and depressing built environment. Would prefer to actually build aesthetically pleasing structures that wouldn't need buckets of paint to make them appealing. I guess it's better than nothing maybe I think perhaps......

Awesome! Now lets get the city to build more parking so you can actually go into the city for an event and find a place to park! No wonder its dead after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends.

I dig the way these murals keep growing. Let's hope they are working up to the refrigerator building! :-)

I think people have no clue how to park; I never have problems with parking. You can't expect to park wherever you want in any downtown city location. The issue with Albany is that we are in very close
Proximity to country folk that throw a tantrum if they can't park their vehicle whenever, wherever they want. By the way, I live
Downtown and park my F150 every day a block from the busiest attraction, The Palace, every night.
Get over it folks....come hang down town.

Cheers for colorful fun art downtown. There's a similar mural on the corner of Lexington and Central Ave too! It would be great to see more murals by local artists, including youth.

It's the eternal parking issue that faces every city. A city is NOT a mall! All things considered Albany is VERY easy for parking compared with other cities bigger and smaller. A few hundred yard walk is good for you! Just maybe that's why we are the fattest country in the world!!

"... build more parking so you can actually go into the city for an event and find a place to park! No wonder its dead after 5pm on weekdays and on weekends."

If it's dead that means there's TONS of places TO park. Saratoga's parking supply pales in comparison and yet...

We don't need more parking. Maybe smarter parking, but we're good on supply.

Just got a Fitbit and suddenly my take on parking spots is completely different. The farther away I park, the more steps I get in toward my 10,000 a day.

The new mural looks great from the pedestrian bridge to Corning Preserve. Now if the artist could be hired to paint the rest of the parking decks we would have something!

Speaking of the pedestrian bridge . . . the small paintings on the piers showing historical events have not held up well at all. How about redoing those next? Maintenance of such works is key—along with their being made to last from the outset. The bridge is something visitors use, and those decaying paintings make a poor impression. The same applies to the history-themed paintings under 787: I'm thinking of the underpass from 787 to Broadway in particular.

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