Art Outside, September 9th, 2006:
The Urban Studio engaged Art Outside attendees to help paint a huge tile mosaic mural, where each piece of the mural is an individual work of art. The day began with a bunch of brightly colored puzzle pieces laying ready to be painted. Children and adults painted their pieces with a single color which was slightly darker/lighter than the base color of their piece.
As the pieces were painted, we assembled them like a big puzzle to reveal a vibrant image representing the regrowth and revitalization of our near-north side community. The mural will be installed in Old North St. Louis, likely, on the 14th Street Mall, just an ice cream cone's throw from Crown Candy Kitchen.
Early Saturday morning after a late night preparing materials, Scott Green (who built the frame for the mural), Misti Andrade (our graphic designer), and Monica Parsons (the master-mind/designer behind the mural) relaxed for a few minutes before our first painters arrived:
When the day began, there were nearly 150 pieces waiting to be painted:
Our first painter putting the final touches on his work of art:
In just a few short hours, Art Outside children and adults painted nearly 150 pieces. Artist collaborators working hard:
Once all the pieces were painted, we worked with our child artists to assemble the puzzle. Each piece had a number on the back that corresponded to a puzzle key. The child artists had to look at the key, then find the next piece in the puzzle. One tiny artist held up a big piece and asked "Is this one next?" We asked him, "What number is it?" Never having counted all the way to 132, he responded, "It's really big." We asked him what numbers he saw, and he responded, "There's a one, a three, and a two." We said, "Well, go look at the key and find a number that looks just like that one with a one, a three, and a two." About five minutes later, he came back with a big smile on his face and said, "I got it!"
The final product was even more wonderful than we could have imagined. The setting sun lit up the mural perfectly:
A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers that made this project possible: Monica Parsons--Urban Studio volunteer staff and mural designer), Barbara Manzara--Urban Studio volunteer staff, Christy Moessmer--Urban Studio volunteer staff, Laura Lyon--Urban Studio Board Member, Christian Andrade, Misti Andrade, Darrell Butler, Jackie Butler, and Scott Green--Grace Hill PROPEL Board members, Jessica Harvath and Rob Guinness--Urban Studio volunteers, Schlafly Bottleworks, and The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group.
This is mural #1 in what we hope to be a series of 4-5 murals that will create an art walk in Old North St. Louis. We are looking for financial support to cover project costs and artist time for future murals. Each additional mural will be designed and created by a different group of near-north side constituents--school children, residents, the burgeoning artist community, and so on. If you are interested in contributing time, financial resources, or material resources to this effort, please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org.