Video of completed piece here – update – this wall is 8’× 68′ – WestburyArts FB page
As a member of a small but fearless arts council, I have had the opportunity to create programming and events that celebrate and explore the arts in a changing community on Long Island in NY. Being the chair of planning and programming certainly allows me to promote and encourage a wide variety of events celebrating everything from visual arts to spoken word and everything in between.
Recently we were approached by a Marketing Director at Simon Malls, to create a mural inside Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY. It was surprising, yet exciting to be asked to create an image that would be seen by thousands and bring art, hand painted by a person, into a retail mecca. Now I have had some experience painting murals, as a visit to this website can confirm, but I surprised even myself by how quickly I claimed the rights to take the lead on this project. Kudos and much gratitude to my colleagues who surrendered, perhaps against their will and entrusted me with this job.
A blank wall is probably the most exciting and intimidating object for many artists, myself included. Taking that first step is like wading through quicksand but once you get started, time is forgotten. After I completed the initial line drawing, the hard work began. For this particular project we needed the help of many volunteers to lend their time and talent to bring my vision to life because we only had about 6 days to get the whole thing done.
As you can see from the photos above, we made it happen. It was amazing to see artists, craftsmen and quite a few people who had never picked up a paintbrush before attack this wall with gusto. I think they did an amazing job and I appreciate their confidence in me and their support.
I remember the first time I collaborated on a mural, it was wondrous to see this image that began on a blank sheet of paper being transformed right before your eyes onto a huge canvas. It was inspiring to see that look on the volunteer’s faces, some of them were like kids playing in a huge paintbox, getting messy and in awe at what they had created.
It reminded me how hard the work of creating is and how joyful it feels. Thanks.