Monday, July 16, 2007

DevCorp Mural Dropping; Local Proposals, Anyone?


For those who have not read the Broken Heart, apparently DevCorp suddenly had this brilliant idea. It would encourage what appeared as some to be an Afrocentric mural in one of the more blighted viaducts. The mural was to be allegedly created and designed by artists and children from other areas of the city. Some claim that the work ignores the message of "diversity" that many neighbors hold near and dear.


A valid point is that there are likely a lot of kids who want both recognition and praise in our community. They see these murals day in and day out, because they live here. Giving them a chance to admire their own work is a good idea. Armstrong, Gale, Jordan, Sullivan or some other local school should get a chance to help design and re-do the mural just east of Pottawatomie Park, as an example. That is all. Any objections?

I am not suggesting that all murals be products of RP artists or children. However, I think that 'Deadcorpse' could have solicited ideas rather than dropping this brilliant conclusion of theirs on locals foreheads. What appears to some as poorly announced knee jerk projects feels like the Chinese Water torture dripping suddenly, slowly, and uncontrollably.
The meeting and a mural is made to appear as a done deal. Perhaps, some regularly maintained, calm less than busy walls are not such a bad idea either! Will Moore or Streets and San pull out the paint to make the pigeon plastered peeling painted walls a more inspiring yet acceptable solid color? When murals peel they just don't look that attractive, anymore.

2 comments:

Michael Harrington said...

Hey neighbor, I always enjoy reading your blog, your writing, and ideas. Keep it up, and I hope to meet ya someday soon.

Anyway, I don't know if I can get away from family duties this evening, but I hope ideas along the lines you suggest are raised at the DevCorp meeting. This morning I posted this comment on Craig's blog site about mural projects in RP:

There’s nothing new, yet everything powerful about the idea of engaging local youth to paint (and every year re-paint) murals on the walls of Rogers Park. During a candidate debate in the aldermanic election four years ago, I suggested using the dozens of CTA and RTA viaducts and embankment walls in the 49th ward as canvases for the project.

I noted the lack of art programs in our local schools and how few opportunities for expression our youth have. I noted the wealth of artists and artistically inclined residents who would be recruited to volunteer in guiding this youth project. I suggested this as a novel giving opportunity for local businesses to contribute funds for paint and supplies. With the Roger Park Community Council as the lead organization coordinating the program (collaborating with school principals, businesses, and the government agencies from whom we’d need permission) I targeted Clark-Devon Hardware as the top blue-ribbon corporate sponsor.

The idea is still a good one. It’s better than us complaining year after year or remaining complacent about gang scrawling and other graffiti. Isn’t this a win-win solution to a large community problem? The result would be a much more “colorful Rogers Park” - pun intended for blog posters who seem to be expressing alarm on all sides of the issue about racial diversity here.

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