Westcott Community

The Westcott Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY

A vibrant eastside neighborhood rich in history, culture, food and entertainment


Find a Bit of Westcott at the Everson Museum of Art: Watercolors by Dan Shanahan

October 16, 2022

Samuel Gruber

A new exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art features watercolor depictions of the Westcott Neighborhood, with views of Roosevelt and Ackerman Avenues, Kensington Road, and other scenes by artist Dan Shanahan.  Dan Shanahan: Scenes of Syracuse (on view: October 1 – November 13, 2022) displays about twenty watercolors of city streets and buildings painted  en plein air on location during the pandemic.

Shanahan is a selected artist from the Everson’s CNY Artist Initiative, a competitive program that highlights the multi-faceted talents of artists living in Central New York.

The watercolors at the Everson depict residential and downtown city streets. Unlike his illustrations which explode with activity and multiple figures, the paintings here are mostly scenes of quiet neighborhoods without people, as they might appear on an early Sunday morning.

The Everson writes that even without figures the paintings teem “with evidence of a small but bustling city: cars line the roads, and businesses prosper along downtown city blocks. Featuring renderings of popular locations, including Armory Square, Franklin Square, and the Westcott and University neighborhoods, Scenes of Syracuse is a love letter to our distinctive urban environment.”

But Shanahan is no stranger to the human figure. These works are quite different from much of the cartoon inspired illustrative work for which Dan is well known. But both styles demonstrate his focus on precision and detail.


You might have seen Dan at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair where he has been known to draw the human figure for hours and hours. Besides being an active artist, Dan is the web administrator, host and board member of Open Figure Drawing, the community-based drawing group open to all that has met for decades at the Westcott Community Center. He is clearly no stranger to the Greater Westcott Neighborhood.

Open Figure Drawing, which has been in operation since 1989, meets every Wednesday night at the Westcott Community Center from 7-10 p.m. There, a model poses (usually nude) for a group of artists, who draw on and with the materials of their choosing.

CNY Artist Initiative! The CNY Artist Initiative builds upon the Everson’s ongoing support of the area’s vibrant arts community. It is a competitive program that highlights the multi-faceted talents of CNY artists. For the CNY Artist Initiative!, Everson curators select local artists to display their work in solo shows at the museum.