Our friend Lighting and Scenic Designer Cris Dopher sent an email with images of some terrific trompe l’oeil exterior murals created by artist John Pugh. He thought we might like the murals. I have always been a huge fan of murals and public art. Professionally executed, of course. I do hate crap and primitive.
Perhaps my relationship to murals relates back to what I see as the magic of flying backdrops in the theatre.
I’m not sure I can claim a favorite from Pugh’s work, but the image at left from Honolulu, Hawaii comes close; this mural took two months of studio work to plan and six months to execute with a team of 11 other artists. Featured are Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands, and Duke Kahanamoku, the ultimate father of surfing. The stairs and the site seers are part of the mural. Hard to belive this isn’t partially real. Check out the wave at the top. The fake skylight.
Pugh’s work made me think of the city of 29 Palms California, known for its murals. I sent that link to Cris and he sent me back information on Whitehorse, Yukon where they apparently paint a mural on every third building.
Is there a California desert theme going on here?
I recall some mural work in New Hope PA, a city we need to revisit sometime soon, if we have photos, they are either prints or slides
I’ve wondered if there was an organized program in DC. I’ve found this, but I’ve seen murals before this program was started and some at elevations well above graffiti height. It may not be responsible for the art we’ve seen, but certainly a commendable program.
Peck Studios seems to have done some terrific mural work in and around the DC area.
I think murals add drama and excitement to streetscapes and urban environments. I think they add life. We’re also fans of ghost signs–old advertising painted as billboards on the sides of buildings and now fading away, but that’s another post.
When I was president of the Montclair Chamber of Commerce (that was quite a sight) I wanted to begin a mural project in Downtown Montclair. We had and still have the Chicken, of course, but I thought other murals in a an artistic community would be a great addition.
The board agreed.
Consensus on an angst free design and sponsorships were harder to come by.