On August 5, 2011, my “Safe Animals Safe Kids Mural” was dedicated in a prominent place in the Canton Arts District on the side of the Imperial Room Lounge at 4th Street and Court Ave. NW. I was thrilled to have it placed in such a visible place!
I was also thrilled that so many Promise Keepers contributed to my Kickstarter campaign for the project. That was in the early days of Kickstarter (before movie and rock stars discovered it), and everyone told me I was crazy to think it would work. I guess I showed them.
Today, though, the mural is gone, and a new public art project has begun to emerge on the side of the Imperial Room.
What’s going on here? Where did my mural go?
Here’s the scoop.
Although the Imperial Room is in a highly visible spot, it truthfully was not a good spot for my mural. First of all, the wall was too large for the mural. Although the mural was a good 12′ x 8′, it was dwarfed by the size of the building.
Second, the mural was defaced within the first month by, of all things, birds!
The wall was not designed to be an exterior wall, and years ago, there was another building beside it. Because of this original design, the grout between the bricks was soft, and birds have turned it into a habitat, building themselves little cubbies between the bricks. My beautiful mural was covered in bird poop within weeks, and it has further deteriorated over the last 2 years.
Robb Hankins, President and CEO of ArtsinStark, and I met a few weeks ago to discuss the possibility of moving it to a location more suitable for the size and care of the artwork. We agreed moving it was a good idea.
The mural will soon be placed on the wall of the ArtsInStark building at 900 Cleveland Avenue N.W. This too is a highly visible place. It does not have much foot traffic, but there is considerable vehicle traffic in this location, and the mural is designed for distance viewing.
As for the old space, I am told that it will become the location of a mural/sculptural piece by artist Tommy Morgan.
Tommy has created many public artworks in Canton. I am not a huge fan, but not a detractor either. Many artists in Canton have a strong dislike for his work. Still yet, as you can read in my post about his “Shattered Expressions” piece from a few years ago, I felt then, as I do now, that some of their disdain is overblown.
Some think it is sorta creepy and disrespectful for him to Photoshop his image over mine in his proposed project, leaving part of my piece visible. They also have expressed dismay that he started putting his piece up before mine was removed.
I won’t get caught up in the drama. I am simply happy that my piece will be in a more suitable location.
I am also thankful for the support of ArtsInStark.
It will take some time to clean and repair the mural. Be watching for the mural’s re-emergence in the next few weeks.
I look forward to the mural continuing the mission of spreading the word about Okey’s Promise.