Sunday, July 27, 2014

"community": a mural for the Monticello Library

indiana street art mural

in may, i began discussions with a group four local art-focused students for a mural at the Monticello Library.  the library received a matching grant to commission the piece, and the kids and i brainstormed ideas and images, themes and metaphors.  what you see above is our finished product, entitled, community.  we wanted to depict diversity in a changing rural community, and not just racial diversity, but rather, diversity of ideas, cultures, and personalities.  

Yesterday, we started by chalking in a few silhouettes, then lightly spot primed the images.  For all of these kids, it was their first experience painting with spray paint, so we used chalk to sketch in the images before going over their chalk with lines of spray paint.  By the end, a couple of the kids had a pretty solid handle on what they were doing with the cans. I am excited to have been able to teach them a new paint medium!
The mural took us all of one day to complete. We painted during the library's Broadway Art Show and Biergarten, so there were several people in, out and around the library the entire time we were painting.  It was funny when one of the library's board members came out early in the morning and asked if i really thought we could get the whole thing done in one day.  He then returned after lunch with his metaphorical jaw on the floor at the amount of work that had been completed already.  He said, "i didn't believe it when they told me you'd be done in one day, but now that i see it with my own eyes..." The weather, thankfully, held off most of the day.  We had a little rain in the morning and few minor sprinkles while we were working, but the cloud cover kept the heat at bay, and we slugged through the piece until we finished at around 4:30 in the afternoon.  Two of the kids had to leave after lunch to get to other committed projects, but two stayed and the three of us cranked out the rest of the mural through the afternoon.

tristian, emma, edgar, and fernando adding their ideas to the mural.  a huge thank to all four of them for not just showing up to paint, but for helping to develop the mural for the library.
getting closer to completion with Fernando and Edgar
In all, we got about 30 different characters on the wall, each one an individual, mashed together as part of a whole community.  The kids added their own styles into the piece, but everything looks really consistent and works solidly together.  I love the bright colors on the brick wall.  they really pop.  I'm really happy with the results of this piece.  I hope the kids that participated, the library, and the city of Monticello agree!

indiana street art mural
the west side of our north facing wall
indiana street art mural
in the middleish
indiana street art mural
also in the middleish
indiana street art mural
the east side of the mural....who doesn't love an purple alien in a pair of chucks.

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