Thursday, May 3, 2012

Inner Alley Symphony

'inner alley symphony'

right side
the mural is installed.  dave raymer and i [held the ladder and handed dave things] started on tuesday and got one panel up in the evening between rain and other things.  then finished hanging it yesterday morning.  tonight the kids had their last class where they signed their names to it and gave it a title.  it is now called inner alley symphony.  the students noticed some of the changes that were made since their class last week and of course all the instruments installed in the previously open spaces.  they began pointing at things and plucking strings and pounding drum heads.  i know that feeling.  to see the work installed for the first time after watching it gradually take shape was pretty cool feeling.  i think they were happy with the finished piece.  i hope they were.  they seemed like they were.

left side
the students and i also had to pose for newspaper pictures and answer interview questions. which they all enjoy more than they will admit.  i hope they feel proud of this work, because they did a bulk of the work on it.  we talked a bit about what this piece will mean for them in the future.  As kids, their value to the community is often underestimated.  this project gave them an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community through public art.  and it will be here for a while.  whether they stay in town or they leave and come back.  they've made a positive contribution to this community.  and that has value.

dave raymer, who installed this work, playing with the wind chimes.  

playing the drums.  perhaps it's a bit too much fun.

wind chimes and drum sticks

the playable aspect of this work is i think the most amazing part.  and its the first thing most people gravitate toward.  the wind chimes and drumsticks clang together.  the drum heads are playable.  the guitar strings can be plucked.  and they will be, because they are in reach.  i do hope that people will treat the mural with respect and not break anything on it.  but i also hope that they play it.  if something does get broken, that's part of public art.  the public.  we'll have to come up with a solution to fix it.  

we are having an official unveiling next friday may 11 at 5pm, right before gallery walk.  tamir and the DJ spin class will be there to set the mood and i hope we have nice weather and a good community turn out.  by the way, this mural could never have been made with out the generous donations of broken musical instruments.  in particular, dave grimes at mcguire music for donating the majority of the instruments.  they made the piece what it is.



That.Is.Incredible. Congrats to you and the kids. I taught high school for a lot of years--and never had the ability to get students to do a collaborative work like this. I'm impressed--you all oughta be proud

Zach Medler said...

thanks tom...i like think of it as controlled chaotic collaboration. i tell them before we start, 'i'm the director, you are the orchestra.' and i lead them through each step, from discussing theme, to design, to actually painting it. and also, after the kids finished painting, i took it back to my studio and added in more imagery and cleaned up some of the smudges, drips, and sloppiness.

Linda Owen said...

Well done! You are not just a talented artist, but an excellent teacher as well! Good job inspiring these talented kids to create such a beautiful piece of art and history. Well done indeed!


Zach Medler said...

thanks linda...are you guys going to be able to make the unveil on the 11th? btw...i submitted an application for the gumball alley project also...i don't know what the status is on it...but i hope this mural helps my chances :)

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