I'm excited to share the final render for the CMCL Grant Street Mural project!
After sifting through all of the feedback from the late summer community engagements, I found a few common threads that I wanted to uplift in the final drawing. Folks were really interested in the parrot and wanted to see it bigger. We talked about the parrot's significance to the CMCL congregation as well as the connections it has to many communities often not represented in public artworks. Parrots are found in South and Central Americas as well as Africa and the Carribbean geographically. They're loud and colorful and hard to miss. I felt that it was important to have a colorful representation that is at once specific to CMCL and broadly recognizable/unifying. I also included a vintage map of the block. The map is a 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map that lists the names of companies that once populated the Concord and Grant intersection. Visible just below the halo on the right side you can see "Conn & Slote" printing company. Just one of the iterations of the building. Below the map is a simplified rendering of an aerial shot of the intersection taken during our last community engagement! Pictured are folks walking their dogs, riding bikes, twirling, and scootering about! The reference image shows the original image and the render in the drawing below is my interpretation. I chose to eliminate some power lines and poles to clean up the image and focus more on the people in the space. On the left side is a simplified render of a pawpaw tree! Pawpaws are a fascinate native fruit that remind me of Quenepas from Puerto Rico. Many folks find them to be similar to bananas and mangos. They're like a taste of home for many and yet they're native to this region. I included them as a nod to the land we're on and the persistence/resilience of indigenous heritage. Some folks shared that the feathers swirling felt like the parrot was molting but they liked the movement. In the final render I used the paw paw leaves as a way to capture the upward movement of the parrot. The segments of the pawpaw have images of a period printing press, community members riding bikes and playing in the lot, Susquehannock pottery, and more! I wanted the viewer to be rewarded for getting close to the image. Lastly, the overall aesthetic I chose to work with is inspired by stained glass. I like the way it simplifies shapes and allows space for broad areas of color. I hope this final render resonates with the community! I'll be announcing paint days throughout the late fall and winter at CMCL and additional details as we solidify plans with cold weather and the holidays coming up.
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork.