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Archive for the ‘murals’ Category

For years, I’ve watched the handball wall at the park between Guy Park Av. and Division Street be tagged by folks that are far from expressing their creativity. They are merely vandals. Again and again, we’ve sent crews to paint the profanity out, only to be hit again the following week.

Mind you, Liberty painted a mural in the same park three years ago and it has been untouched. So my theory is, if there is something cool on the wall, the criminals will leave it alone. With that in mind, I drove to Lowes, loaded up on spray paint, and have started a new mural at the park. I’m pleased with its beginnings and am sharing it here. The beauty about this wall is the second side that I am already planning for!

If you’re interested in tackling a wall too, give me a call at 841-4311. The more art, the better. My hope is that one of these anonymous taggers will be inspired to put up something beautiful instead of defacing another public place.

The wall: start

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Thank you to all of the good people that helped me, supported me, and spirited me through this difficult process.

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There is something gracefully metaphorical about what’s happening in the Rose Garden at City Hall. Two years ago, this was a forgotten, overgrown mass of vines, saplings and crumbling walls. The panoramic view to the south was obscured and that side of the building was rarely visited by even the most avid of history buffs.

A year ago, almost to the day, loads of topsoil were delivered and we began planting the much-maligned rose garden. Naysayers decried the project as a wildly hedonistic, unnecessary expense, even though the foundation walls to the basement and retaining walls showed signs of considerable damage, cracking and collapse. We ignored the naysayers. We made repairs and improvements from budgeted funds for City Hall property maintenance.

The naysayers roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes! Surely, this project could only be viewed as insanely irresponsible! What silly fluffiness! “Shutter the place and sell it!” became the daily AM mantra.

God paid no mind. Seeds took root and flowers bloomed, several times in fact and far into the Fall.

This summer, a small band of determined volunteers continues to change the course of our demise. Betty Clough, Debbie Baranello and Karin Hetrick returned to work their magic with gloves, shovels, sweat and muscle. Ed Schyuler and Nick Zabawsky donated perennial plants to augment the already beautiful flora with specimens that will flower from early Spring until late Fall. The staircases that flank each end of the garden have been masterfully cleared of vegetation, dirt and fallen debris, unearthing a heritage in slate and brick that is amazingly preserved and artistic.

The pièce de résistance to this reclamation will be the mural being painted on the basement foundation wall. Where bricks have fallen away, a trompe l’oeil Tuscan landscape will vanish into a perpetually dreamlike distance. Methinks there is no room for naysayers there.

The slow, evolution of this broken bit of history into lovely, inviting public space is emblematic of what is happening across the city. The steps are small and incremental, but we are walking back out of the woods. Bridge Street is taking shape, Riverlink Park is expanding, water and road projects are remedying years of decay, the water filtration plant and waste water treatment plant updates are nearing completion and volunteer groups across the city are undertaking beautification projects in every city ward.

Bottom line: the sun will rise again. The garden(s) will grow. There is hope.

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Thank you so much to the Recorder and Reporter Jessica Maher for this web interview. Please take time to visit the Recorder’s home page each and every day at the following link: best news in town.

Oh, and by the way, I misspoke. We have between 3,000 to 4,000 new visitors to our city website each MONTH!

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HELP!

We need peeps to roll out base primer for a HUGE mural of the American Flag this Saturday! Please spend a couple of hours with us dusting off the east entrance to the City. Starts at 10am. Ladders and rollers with extensions appreciated. Paint, encouragement and laughter supplied.

Call 841-4311 to volunteer. Amsterdam NEEDS YOU!

Update: Much to our disappointment, the paint on the building was found to be too badly compromised to paint over and will have to be tested for lead. We will look into this while the artist may choose another site. Keep tuned, we’ll need your help when the time comes.

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There is more work to do, but even so,
I am proud to post the “befores” and “afters”.

The muralists will be getting together in the next week or so
to start the other projects.

The photos are nice, however, I urge everyone to take a ride downtown
for the real deal.

I’m tired, very sunburned, and very, very grateful.


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