Michelle Klosek has always been a believer in the City of Utica. Her faith in the power of people working together is on full display at the newly-revamped and re-branded Sicken@624.

When you step into the new Sicken @ 624, your jaw drops, and your senses are temporarily overwhelmed. Everywhere you look, there is art - on the walls, on the bar, on the doors...even in the bathrooms. You can't help but smile. The smile gets even wider as you step into the courtyard, where the artwork of dozens of local artists all blends together into a giant masterpiece.

The public art display that now characterizes the former Sickenberger was inspired by a trip Michelle took to see her daughter in Denver, Colorado where she says "public art is everywhere." Michelle says it was that visit that motivated her to bring the idea of public art to Utica - so she reached out to her dear friend and artist, Angela Johnson.

Credit: Dave Coombs/TSM
Credit: Dave Coombs/TSM

Angela is the mastermind behind the project at Sicken@624. She describes working with Michelle to bring local artists together as her "dream job." Each artist was given free reign to express themselves in whatever way they chose. Incredibly, in spite of each artist's individual style being so different - everything flows together seamlessly. There are painted bugs, cats, spaceships, typewriters, portraits, and so much more. It's truly breathtaking in its vibrancy and scope.

Michelle says her vision is to showcase the talent of Utica and the surrounding area...and she's only just getting started. Michelle, together with Angela, hopes to offer art jams, more public art, art shows, and concerts at the venue.

The new theme for Sicken@624 is "Paint Your Own Lane." Michelle says the message behind the collaboration is that there is power in the whole - everybody can bring their own talents and gifts, and be stronger in cooperation with others.

The grand re-opening of Sicken@624 is Friday, May 10th, with a ribbon cutting at 5:15pm - and the festivities starting soon after. There will be refreshments served, the 'Brake From The Grind' Food Truck will be there, and stilt walkers, aerialists, show girls, and a hip hop flash mob from Dance with Utica. There will be prize packs for lucky attendees as well.


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