There comes a time in every community project when the project facilitators wonder if the operation will sink, fly, wobble, or leap.
We passed the tipping point last night as the first tracts of paint were applied to the Health Center reception room wall. What is it about life’s same old colors (the mural’s first coat, called an underpainting is entirely in grays, browns, black, and white) that, when seen being spread in 6 different ways by six different painters send a shock into the air and let everyone know that they are somehow indispensable to a previously forgettable wall?
The mural’s first volunteer disclaimed any painting experience. The truth is, this mural will depend on the experienced and inexperienced alike if it is to bear any resemblance to the inhabitants of the environment it inhabits, and if it is to speak into its own context.
This afternoon the Community Art class is conferencing with a psychologist and a few interns at the counseling center to discuss healing and the arts- a topic recently highlighted in events sponsored by the counseling center to ask, “Do you think there’s a healthy way to define beauty? Let’s chat about it.”
The art department is on board. Let’s make images about it.