Wednesday, November 02, 2011

It's Lonely at the Top...

     Well...it's lonely at the top sometimes. I finally got started on the Palm Avenue Parking Garage project this past Monday afternoon. I really wanted to start two weeks ago but it was not to be. So after the rain stopped on Monday, I drove over there and got to work. Sixth floor. Very top. At first, it was very lonely. Oh, every once in awhile someone would visit. Michael "he who should not be named" (inside joke...for now) stops by to check on us often. And there has been a parade of city officials checking in to make sure I haven't painted the elevator doors or fallen off the roof:-) (so far, so good). And a few friends. I appreciate all of their visits. It's what I really enjoy about public art projects that are outside. Interaction with the people. And....a bonus. This great view......see below...

     Yes...that's my view...one of them. All the other artists are envious:-) I didn't ask for the top floor. We were assigned floors and themes. My theme is 'Theater'. More about that in a bit...

     So after several months of planning and a month of nonsensical bashing of the project by a few local sour grapes (that's my label), the painting has begun. Each floor has been assigned an artist or artist group as well as a theme, as I mentioned previously. The themes are all art related and will, in a way,  be used as a sort of way point (I think that's the term) for people that use the parking garage. So if you park on the third floor, it may be movies, so that will be your reminder of what floor you parked on, just in case you return to find your car after one too many martinis. It happens....don't laugh.

    The artists that were selected are from all over the world. Two showed up today...MTO is originally from France and lives in Berlin. He and his partner use spray cans to create larger than life images of people, and in the parking garage, it will be movie stars. And even though he started just today, the images already look very cool. One other artist is local, other than myself. The team of Monica Spain and Marco Bell. Very talented duo. Marco is a muralist like myself. They are creating the Opera floor....it's going to be fabulous.

   As I mentioned, my theme is Theater. I originally thought I could somehow include every past and present theater in Sarasota. Well..that didn't quite work out. There doesn't seem to be a lot of information around on the history of theater here. Or rather, none that I wanted to use. Besides, I didn't want to forget anyone. So, instead of focusing on actual theaters, I decided to focus on a particular play. The play is "The Man Who Came to Dinner" and was a very early play put on at the Player's Theater, which is the oldest community theater in Sarasota and the second oldest community theater in Florida. But I'm focus more on the play, not the theater. The reason is that the start of that particular play was Verman Kimbrough. That in itself isn't all that interesting, although I'm sure he was very good. What I found interesting was that Verman Kimbrough, cast as the lead in “The Man Who Came To Dinner,” also had a distinguished international operatic career.  And...he became president of the Ringling School in 1933 and Mayor of Sarasota in 1938-1939. I thought that was interesting...so...he gets to start in my mural.

  I'll post more about the design later....for now, I'll add a photo of what I've gotten done so far. It's not progressing as fast as I had hoped, but they never do, it seems.

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