It’s always rewarding when a creative project gets the positive attention of the community, especially when you are working with young people to paint and collage on the walls of buildings. As the first mural team of four collaborative projects between 516 ARTS and Warehouse 508, we learned many things about working together as artists, but much more about the logistical difficulties of working in an alley in the middle of winter. I was continuously impressed by the dedication of each of the youth artists to brave no sun, snow and sleet, sweeping winds and frigid temperatures up on ladders and high scaffolding to get their vision of "Form & Function" on the back wall of 516 ARTS.
The article titled "Art and the Alleyway" [Art News, Feb. 25-March 3] was a wonderful tribute to the hard work and passion of the group, and we enjoyed having Julia Mandeville come out to the site to talk with us, really get a sense of what we were trying to accomplish. It was an especially cold Saturday, a bit later in the day than we’d expected her, so unfortunately our whole team was not there to tell the story. There are a couple of discrepancies that I’d like to set straight.
First, I am not a co-visionary of the wonderful new coffeehouse The Kosmos, though I do love the coffee, yummy food, great atmosphere which is all the creation and vision of Maggie Ross supported by Jerry Miller and Factory on 5th.
Next, on that Saturday our team was missing one of its two mentor artists, Kevin Vigil, a recent BFA graduate of Ringling [College] of Art and Design.
Finally, as well as the supplies and tracing equipment, John McClendon donated dozens of pints and gallons of paint in many colors that ensured the vibrancy of the mural.
I hope the community will take a stroll in a Downtown alley and see our work.