Collaborative Projects

It’s pretty inspirational to me to see projects that come together based on innovation, talent and public participation.

When I first saw this mural, I thought I recognized the unique stylistic hand of C.F. Payne, one of my favorite contemporary illustrators, but with all the scaffolding in front and even with the resource post, Mural, mural on the wall by Soapbox Media, it seemed unclear and I wasn’t sure I understood. After several reads now I see, or at least I think I understand the background and how it has come together.

Singing Mural by CF Payne_Photo by Scott-Beseler of Social Media, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Singing Mural by CF Payne - Photo by Scott-Beseler of Social Media

This Singing Portrait Mural is by C.F. Payne, who’s not known as a muralist, but MuralWorks in Cincinnati (a public art sub-branch of ArtWorks) has painted it in collaboration and according to C.F. Payne’s illustration. This is what I like about ArtWorks’ MuralWorks program:

ArtWorks employs teen and professional artists to work side-by-side with communities to transform our region.  Since MuralWorks began in 2007, ArtWorks has painted 34 murals in 25 neighborhoods in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  Your neighborhood can be next!

Here’s a little secret — they even hold Secret Artist Events called Secret ArtWorks. The next one is November 18 but wait, you can attend the best of all their past Secret ArtWorks events on October 6 at their MasterWorks event.

The other part of this collaboration was in in relation to JR, a street artist who won the 2011 TED award with his international Inside Out idea to get everyone and anyone involved in art by submitting their portraits, in which they would receive posters on which they were printed and they would then paste the posters in a public area in order to be a part of the public art, global community project. The teen artists painting C. F. Payne’s Singing Portrait Mural for MuralWorks participated in Inside Out with their own portraits that they had pasted on the wooden planks surrounding the scaffolding on which they were working to paint the mural.

INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Upload a portrait. Receive a poster. Paste it for the world to see.

InsideOut project photos_JR Photography, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

I like this idea but I do not consider individual photographic portraits pasted to singular spots in public spaces as murals. They are more like pin-up posters or similar to something you could see as billboard advertisements in Times Square. However, I did a post on JR and the strategic placements of large scale photographic portraits that he uses in his own work is different in how they are used collectively to transform an entire village or community or public space and it’s people is truly remarkable. No wonder JR is the winner of the 2011 TED Prize.

From the streets of Paris, where he started to the heart of the Middle East conflict to Brazil and Cambodia, here are a few of his works from the latter location. The changing eyes on the train is brilliant.

JR public art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

JR street art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

JR street art in Cambodia as seen on Art Is Everywhere

This is where “street art” can be powerful and leaves a lasting impression long after the artwork is gone.

Brick by Brick by Brick

Who said, “Things come to those who are patient,”  and I’ll add persistent? Just like these 3-d brick murals, brick by brick by brick and the amount of patience involved in the production and details for it all to add up to create a large mural, some positive press mentions are coming our way. I’ll get to that in a moment but for now, here are some three-dimensional brick murals and a few followups to note, where time and patience is evident and pays off.

1) 3-D Brick Muralist, Mara Smith and some of her public murals.

Meade Bank Mural by Mara Smith, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Meade Bank Oak Tree Mural by Mara Smith, in Brandenburg, KY

River City Bank Brick Mural_Mara Smith, as seen on Art is Everywhere

River City Bank Derby Theme Brick Mural by Mara Smith

Detail of River City Bank Mural_Mara Smith, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Detail of River City Bank Mural by Mara Smith

Mara Smith works on brick mural, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Mara Smith works on brick mural

Artist Mara Smith working on preparatory designs for brick mural, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Artist Mara Smith working on preparatory designs for brick mural

2) Detroit has Brixels. ArtCorpsDetroit is a public art foundation via Wayne State University that addresses abandoned spaces and how they can be refurbished using art in public education programs. In this case, existing bricks were painted using paint donated by Sherwin Williams and the geometric design was painted by volunteers.

brixels by ArtCorpsDetroit at Hostel Detroit, as seen on Art Is Everyhwere

brixels = combination of bricks and pixels mural by ArtCorpsDetroit

3) Shepard Fairey may need to move over because Alexandre Farto, the Portuguese street artist (Vhills) about whom I had previously blogged has been tapped by Cincinnati to produce some public art murals as well as by Levi’s to be a part of their ad campaign “Go Forth”, in Berlin to carve portraits of four Berliners who exhibit the pioneering spirit. Maybe it was this video that caught their attention. This shows a little bit of his creative production in using mini explosions to create his murals….Just remember to stand back.

Lucky for us we have Chris Stegner’s account and visual pictorial reference of Vihlls revealed and in action creating his Cincinnati portrait. Usually he takes pictures of signs on buildings after they are created but he had just happened to run into Vihlls creating his. How fortunate.

Getting back to some good news mentioned at the onset. Check out this post over at Slipcovers for your Walls and just like Farto’s portrait creations, just when you’re unsure of all the hard work,  all is revealed once there.