Friday, June 19, 2009

Proud Dads Dept.

A few years ago, my son, Brody, as the artist in residence at Wash Arts, painted a mural off Shaffer Avenue in Washington behind Cafe Bean with the help of kids in the summer program. At the time, there were tables set in the area by the wall for outdoor coffee drinking in nice weather. Today, the area is overgrown with weeds, strewn with garbage, and graffiti has been sprayed on the mural.

Brody now lives in Ithaca, N.Y., a city that recently sponsored a competition for public art. He won the competition, and as a result three of his painting will be reproduced on massive panels and hung on the sides of buildings in the city's center. (Read the story.)

He was quoted in an article in the Ithaca newspaper about his views on public art, which I found insightful:

"There's a part of me that says, you know, 'Why should people's tax dollars go for something they don't necessarily pay attention to or value?'But at the same time, if you don't have living arts in your society, it's a pretty bleak place.
"If you look back in history, it's really the only thing people are remembered for. There's some memory or history about military conquest and trade, but it's really not much. And yet we have a very rich history of almost every culture that's ever existed through their artwork.
"Not that I necessarily think the paintings I've made are going to go down in history as being great, but maybe they'll inspire some kid somewhere to want to make something like that someday."


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Brody! He's certainly deserving of the award and his observations about art are so true.

Brant said...

That's a really cool painting. It must be great to have that kind of talent. I struggle with stick figures.

Anonymous said...

There was a property dispute over that "alley" where the mural is located. The coffee shop does not own it, as in fact, the owner leases the shop. The George Washington Hotel probably owns it, but after the utility dig there about 3 years ago, it's been in disarray. It is a great mural, however, in a rather dingy alley.