They were smiling as if this was the time of their lives, which indeed it was.
Joe Dreher told me that he and his son were helping 3ttman with his Living Walls mural in Summerhill, said I should drop by.
So on August 8, I dropped by.
And that started my favorite art experience: For 8 days I watched the murals go up.
Left: Joe Dreher. Right: 3ttman, "His name derives from the French trois têtes man, or three headed man – a recurring figure in his work."
My first look at 3ttman's wall (right) and 2501's wall (left).
3ttman was on the lift sketching with a long pole.
Living Walls volunteers looked after the artists. Here are three: Joe, Vanessa, and Karley. These are the smiles I'm talking about.
The butterfly catcher wall by Matt Haffner and Laura Bell dwarfed them.
One little paintbrush by Matt Haffner.
One little paintbrush by Laura Bell.
Freddy Sam took great pains on his Springbok.
He painted more that 50 of them all by himself. When I spoke with him on this day, I felt the crushing workload he'd set out for himself. Toward the end of the week I think he relaxed a little.
Trek Matthews' pallet-on-a-lift.
Trek seemed a spec on his giant wall.
Artist 2501 brought a loved one and needed all the cool he could get on his south-facing wall.
Left: 2501, right: 3ttman.
The blue wasn't just the buff for Know Hope. It's his signature color and the majority of the composition.
Know Hope was one artist with one little paint brush.
The Marcy Starz blue was lighter.
I never caught Marcy painting. Her mural advanced in chunks.
Elian got some help.
Tip for summer muralists: Get a north facing wall, chose a design that allows delegation.
Sam Parker had help at times.
Sam worked alone at times. Tip: A lift puts you at the exact height. A scaffold gives you ladder-legs and requires ungentlemanly bending.
Nanook started later and was in a groove that gave him time to chat.
Nanook seemed gnat-sized working beside Freddy Sam who by this time was on his third panel of springbok.
Joshua Ray Stephens' wall on Daniel Street meant ladder-legs...
...and interesting juxtapositions.
Pastel and his assistant were there every single time I drove by. He painted the whole building.
An overwhelming amount of solo work.
You can see Turner Field behind Gyun Hur's whole-house mural.
Jaz did two murals, just knocked them out. This is the small one.
Then Jaz did horses.
Horses appeared wherever he sprayed.
INTI did the biggest wall.
He seemed to enjoy the work and my attention.
Agostino dealt with a prickley deodar cedar at Triumph Lofts.
When the lift ran out of gas, they ran on battery backup.
Roti incorporated a prior mural by Jaz on The Sound Table wall.
Roti, one man with a can.
At the end Living Walls volunteers broke things down and cleaned things up.
I know they were happy, I know they were exhausted.
I know they felt an aching regret: the best part was over. In the process they bonded with the artists they might never see again. That's the way I feel and I just watched a little.
So the murals will remind me of all the people who put them up. And I'll remember my favorite art experience (so far).
Thanks Joe for the great tip. I hope to do it again next year.
They're finished now. Go see. They are in perfect condition.
Terry's 7 tips for enjoying the walls: 1. Go see them at least 3 times. 2. You don't have to know anything. 3. You don't have to think. 4. You don't have to like them. 5. You can change your mind and change it again. 6. If there are walls you particularly like (or hate), look up the artist. 7. Imagine the wall YOU would like to see. and...
8. Look at them from different vantage points if you can (2501 photographing his wall).
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