Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Recently my husband was given the opportunity to do a public art project in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was asked to submit a proposal for a mural that would cover an 18 ft. high x 38 1/2 ft. wide concrete wall. He spent the last 3 weeks painting the mural. Not an easy task to begin with, but made all the more difficult because of the beastly hot weather we've been experiencing.
The mural depicts a character called "The Celery Bog Man" and is titled "Mythic Wabash". "The Celery Bog is a wetland located in West Lafayette, Indiana. For much of the 20th century the wetland was drained and farmed. Celery, as well as other crops, were grown in the rich peat of the drained wetland. However, the agricultural drainage system constantly failed, which resulted in the termination of farming in the wetland. Thus, part of the former wetland has gradually reverted to wet conditions. The wetland and important nearby sites are now preserved as the Celery Bog Nature Area. This area is listed as a “significant ecological site” by the Indiana Natural Heritage Program and it has become and important park in the area."
The original painting of "The Celery Bog Man" was conceived for another community art exhibition call "Tippecanus Rex" which my husband curated. The object of that project was for area artists and writers to create works about imagined myths and legends of Tippecanoe county. Some of my favorites were the Wabash River Dolphins, Tippecanus Rex, the Wea Plains Pigmy Bison and the Celery Bog Man.
The public unveiling of the mural was this afternoon. Craig says "It's meant to be fun, obviously, but primarily provocative. I'm hoping people respond to the creativity and the imagination behind it." So many people stopped to watch him paint and commented on how cool it was. The mayor was in attendance during the unveiling and he mentioned that not only is public art beautiful to look at and enjoy, but that murals like this actually detour vandals from creating graffiti. Who knew?
If you are ever in West Lafayette, the mural is on a wall near Purdue University behind Spurlock's restaurant. It was sponsored by the City of West Lafayette and the Tippecanoe Arts Federation.
Here are some pictures of the mural in different stages.
Posted by Wendy Martin at 6:31 PM