HARRISBURG – Murage apparel is a unique player in the world of streetwear.
Murage has a social component designed to give back to communities with the gift of art.
“Murage apparel is changing the face of streetwear by giving back,” said Bryan Speece, Creative Director. “Ten percent of all purchases support murals and street art in local communities. Public art is important to the character and unity of a community and this is a great way for people to show their love of art and support for local artists.”
Murage is working with artists to offer unique clothing and accessory designs. Based in Harrisburg, Pa., Murage’s first two collaborations are with artists from the capital city.
“Harrisburg’s street art scene is thriving thanks to the work of various organizations and Murage apparel is committed to being a part of that movement to help grow it even further,” Speece said. “Community art sparks beauty, creativity, originality and has been proven to be a factor in economic prosperity. An investment in the arts is an investment in the well-being of a community and its economic vitality.”
The two local artists whose art graces Murage shirts have very distinctive styles: Stephen Michael Haas, 27, tends to focus on cartoon-inspired abstractions while the work of Amie Bantz, 25, is illustrative.
Haas, who has painted murals in Baltimore, Chattanooga and in his hometown, touches on themes of love, vulnerability, and self-worth in much of his work.
Haas’s collaboration with Murage features one of his signature surreal characters. Within the design a speech bubble reads, ‘Speak your love with pride and you will be loved’.
“Feelings of love can be so hard to express,” Haas said. “Being vulnerable is not easy, either, because it may not always be received as intended. The message behind the shirt is simple: Say it when you mean it, mean it when you say it and don’t give in to the fear that wants to shut you down.”
Many of Bantz’s artistic creations are fueled by her life experiences. Recently, she has explored the meaning of place and our relation to the structures that surround us.
That theme is evident in a series of pieces incorporating Harrisburg city’s skyline. Bantz has used the design on a traffic box in downtown Harrisburg and a mural she painted at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. She has created a version of that same design, which translates better to a shirt, for her collaboration with Murage.
“I really like the idea of someone looking at art and being able to make a connection and recognizing something from it and have it be familiar,” Bantz said. “I want people who look at it to realize that it is the city of Harrisburg, but still be ambiguous enough to leave room for people to put their own background and interpretation into it.”