Tag Archives: Murals

Don’t be afraid of Ethnicity

Don’t be afraid of public artwork that strongly demonstrates its origination in  ethnic visual traditions.  Murals can be show people from different backgrounds or painted in the art traditions of non-western cultures.  Why can’t public sculptures be bronze castings of African masks.  Why can’t ceramic murals clearly originate in the traditions of Spanish or Moroccan wall and floor tiles?

In the 19th and 20th century, the dominant art establishment and intellectuals believed that progress and newness in art came exclusively from the artistic inventions in Europe and then the Americas.  Still today, despite the great respect in museums and universities for all traditions in art, the vast majority of public art is dominated by euro-american art.

One major flaw of public art thinking is that works from other cultural traditions should only be seen in the neighborhoods of those ethnic communities.  It is sometimes known as “race matching”.   Art about or by African Americans should be seen in African American neighborhoods, not in the center of downtown.

Given the 150 years of public art in the USA and Florida, some catching up may be required in African American, Caribbean, Mexican and South American neighborhoods.  Pride in community through public art is still a valuable service.

In the 21st century, many mature and talented artists exist from any cultural or ethnic backgrounds.  Many ethnic traditions have been continued by contemporary artists and craftspersons.  Perhaps ethnic and cultural diversity in a public art collection is the true new future.

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Public Art Survey Results

For IBI Group, consulting art researcher Surale Phillips completed the public art survey for the master plan in February.  689 people completed the online public art survey for the City of West Palm Beach.   Phillips used the result from the 406 people who self-declared themselves residents of West Palm Beach,  but the results are nearly the same with employees and visitors included.

Pleas view the slideshow that was presented at the March, 2015, Art in Public Places Committee meeting.   Please remember that the survey is not “scientific” as people volunteered for the survey and in this case, 90% really enjoy art.

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From the survey, we constructed a draft mission statement and goals related to expressed priorities.

The Art in Public Places program should beautify the city through timeless, beautiful and meaningful sculptures, gardens and murals in parks, downtown, waterfront and entrances to the city.

The future artworks should inspire creativity, bring delight to everyday spaces, support local artists, promote pride, attract and entertain tourists to our city, and reflect the city’s many cultures and lifestyles.

When appropriate, the art should be fun and colorful and  artists should improve blank walls, vacant lots and plazas

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The survey both reflects and deviates from national opinions.  Parks, downtowns and entrances are frequently preferred locations and beauty the goal.  The lack of interest for artworks in neighborhoods or that reinforce neighborhood identity is unusual.  Vacant lots, blank walls and supporting local artists are higher than normal.

Generally, people understand public art as sculptures, murals and functional artworks, but gardens are higher than normal.   Street art, changing art and interactive artwork are newer ideas that have support.

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The public art surveys produces some challenges to the program.

1.  Work that is beautiful and meaningful, but not traditional modern art nor representational art.

2.  Work that is excellent, innovative and attracts tourists, but not necessarily made by artists of international renown.

3.  Work made by local artists from a range cultural backgrounds, but without a priority to benefit local neighborhoods.

Northwood Village Mural Project

 

Graig McInnis
Craig McInnis

Since 2014, the Northwood Village Mural Project have completed murals 2 murals in West Palm Beach. The murals are painted by Craig McInnis at 2417 Spruce Ave and Eduardo Mendieta at 441 25th Street.  The CRA has helped get this project off the ground, but they will need more funding to keep this Mural Project going and cover the neighborhood with beautiful murals. They are looking for local businesses to also help by sponsoring murals, donating exterior wall space, and funding. The community can also help with fundraising and support.

Eduardo Mendieta
Eduardo Mendieta

Initially there will be 4-5 murals painted on buildings located on Northwood Road, Spruce Avenue and 25th Street. The goal is to beautify and bring more vitality to the neighborhood. Each mural will be painted by a different artist.  Muralist Amanda Valdes will begin her mural at 444 25th Street in early 2015. Other artists are waiting for approval of their designs before work can begin. If you are artist, property owner or anyone interested in participating message the project here.

Craig McInnis 2014
Craig McInnis 2014
Eduardo Mendieta 2014
Eduardo Mendieta 2014
Amanda Valdes 2015
Amanda Valdes – Coming in 2015

Armory Mosaic Mural by Lesley Davison

Lesley Davison produced the excellent ceramic and mirror mural on the north facade of the Armory Art Center building.  Davison gives inspirational credit to Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia.

Armory Mural by Lesley Davison
Armory Mural by Lesley Davison
Armory Mural by Lesley Davison
Armory Mural by Lesley Davison
Armory Mural by Lesley Davison
Armory Mural by Lesley Davison

Student+working+on+wall+3Student+working+on+wall+1

Armory mural in progress
Armory mural in progress

 

Isaiah Zagar, Born 1939.
Isaiah Zagar, Born 1939.

Isaiah Zagar murals on South Street in downtown Philadelphia.  Started the murals in 1994 at age 55.  More info the Philly Magic Gardens.

Mural by Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia - 1994-2004
Mural by Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia – 1994-2004

 

Jorge Pardo and Tristan Easton Murals

TRISTAN EATON MURAL, Alexander Lofts, 2014
TRISTAN EATON MURAL, Alexander Lofts, 2014

Two prominent Los Angeles based artists, both in the NYC Museum of Modern Art collection, have designed very large murals in downtown West Palm Beach.

In 2014, RAM Reality commissioned Tristan Easton to interpret the history of Bell Telephone in a 7,000 SF mural on the Alexander Lofts.  The former Southern Bell Telephone building at 326 Fern Street is being converted to studio lofts.  Casey Cummings, CEO of RAM, has served on the boards of the New World Symphony and Martin County Public Art Advisory Board.

TRISTAN EATON MURAL, Alexander Lofts, 2014
TRISTAN EATON MURAL, Alexander Lofts, 2014

LoftsAdd

In 2006, Wasserman Real Estate Capital commissioned Jorge Pardo to design a 40,000 mural covering all sides of a warehouse located two blocks south of Okeechobee Blvd between Clare and Parker.  Wasserman commissioned the mural to bring attention to its sales office for 550Q Condo that was never built due to the crash.

Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006
Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006
Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006
Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006

The mural was painted by SOL Scenic Studios of Orlando.

Walking between 1016 Clare Ave and 326 Fern
Walking between 1016 Clare Ave and 326 Fern

See the idea for a 1000 foot mural on the Railroad Street Parking Garage.

Muralist Andrew Reid’s painting at the Police Headquarters

Andrew Reid with Mural
Andrew Reid with Mural

The mural at the WPB Police Headquarters is by Miami artist Andrew Reid.  Reid achieved renown as a graphic artist in his native New Zealand and New York before moving to Miami in 1991. Since that time he has explored a variety of media, including painted and carved murals, sculpture and three dimensional wall pieces. More info on Reid here.

Andrew Reid, WPB Police Station
Mural by Andrew Reid, WPB Police Station
Andrew Reid in Indianapolis
Andrew Reid in Indianapolis
Andrew Reid
Andrew Reid

IDEA: Really, Really Big Mural on Railroad Parking Garage

IDEA – Giant Mural.   Very long parking garage on the railroad track and Federal Highway between Flagler Bridge/AIA and 3rd Street.  Recent examples of giant murals included.

Parking Garage
Parking Garage from AIA / Flagler Bridge Road
Katharina Grosse, Philadelphia, 2014
Katharina Grosse, Philadelphia, 2014
Garage from 4th Street
Garage from 4th Street
Katharina Grosse, Philadelphia, 2014
Katharina Grosse, Philadelphia, 2014
Hass&Hahn, Rio, Brazil
Hass&Hahn, Rio, Brazil
From 3rd Street
From 3rd Street
OsGemeos, Vancouver, Canada, 2014
OsGemeos, Vancouver, Canada, 2014
JR in Paris
JR in Paris

Big AIA TUrnclose

Big AIA TUrn

See the blog post about Jorge Pardo’s mural south of Okeechoobee.

Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006
Jorge Pardo Mural, 1016 Clare Ave, 2006