I recently painted four concrete road barriers located on a vacant lot near our studio on Mt. View Drive. With the blessing of the property owners, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, I set out to add a little color to this busy stretch of the street, full of pedestrians and the site of a popular bus stop.
I was overwhelmed with well wishers, people stopping to chat, curious school children and cars honking with a big thumbs up, shouts of thank you and "so f'n awesome!" This was an unpaid gig, but well worth the effort, giving me a chance to experiment with faux painting techniques and layering stencils of traditional tile patterns from Spain, Portugal, India and Northern Africa. I was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba, the beautiful architectural layers of the aging city of old Havana. I hope to stimulate support for more public art and plant the seed, the idea of the endless possibilities of art in this diverse community.
I'll be working with the Municipality of Anchorage to paint dumpsters for Mt. View. Yes, dumpsters! The plan is to pair artists with local middle school students. mentor and help create, compose and execute positive art with the theme of healthy sustainable environments. I'm a big advocate for well conceived quality public art, so my students will spend time researching our theme, gathering images, creating a solid, meaningful and stimulating composition, practicing good painting practices and techniques before we apply paint to the dumpsters. I'll blog an update with images as this project progresses this winter (dumpsters will be housed indoors during the painting process).
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