This 17'Tx160'L mural features 6 vignettes about "Makin' Groceries in Early New Orleans", depicting the varied ways we once purchased food that differ from today's experience. The mural is painted with exterior-quality artist acrylics on primed cinderblock, with two coats of exterior varnish as a protectant.
The uniques challenge of this mural was the proliferation of trees and telephone poles that partially obscure the mural. I designed 6 arched vignettes at 12'Tx18'W to create a window into the world of the past. The images were inspired by my actual research at the Williams Research Center about the history of food vendors in New Orleans.
While Jay Breaux insisted the mural be different in content from the original mural I executed for him, he allowed me the freedom to paint what I wanted within our agreed-upon concept. Some of the employees, neighbors and community members gave input into how the people should be depicted, and we discussed appropriateness for today's times while trying to also remain historically accurate.
The wall required me with the help of two assistants a week and a half of prep. After this process, they assisted with blocking in colors while I began details, but I spent much time working on it alone. I was able to use a scissor lift to execute the work because the sidewalk was fairly level. The project took 4 months to complete, allowing for winter weather, holidays and rain.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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