Thursday, August 15, 2019

Downtown Building Art

No one enters or leaves the city of Shreveport, Louisiana on Interstate 20 without noticing this amazing over-sized piece of art work.

Titled "Once in a Millennium Moon," this visually busy mural covers 30,000 square feet and took two years to paint.  The mural is on two sides of a 14 story building and the largest in the US.

In 2000, Meg Saligman, internationally renowned for her large murals, invented the “community paint day” as a way to include thousands of community members in the making of "Once in a Millennium Moon."  The technique is now widespread across the mural industry.

The artist perfected the picture on a paint by number grid, then paint parties were held all over town.  It took almost two years and over 2,000 folks worked on the painting which was applied to sheets of plastic cloth much like wallpaper.  More than 40% of the mural was done by the Shreveport community.

The mural contains 19 people from the ages of 3 months to 80 years old. They represent diversity in race, age, gender, religion and neighborhood.  The people and over 40 objects capture the people of Shreveport, their treasures, triumphs, and tragedies.

 Each of the forty heirloom objects that might have had meaning to a person, or family can also be found in the mural.  Examples of them are a clown doll, ceramic cup, fork and a cast iron skillet.

Cycles of life can also be found in the painting:  birth is represented by a christening cap, puberty by the Torah, a veil and garter for marriage, and a veteran's dog tag for death. 

The water symbolizes the flow of the Red River after the break of the Great Log Jam by Captain Henry Miller Shreve for whom the city was named.

Near the bottom of the painting is a cornucopia of northwestern Louisiana produce including strawberries, peaches, tomatoes and dewberries.  They are being held in a Cast Iron Skillet. This skillet is symbolic because it had been passed down through three generations, and each new recipient received an accompanying card, which read: "This skillet is for making cornbread, and for keeping your man in line."

It is certainly a mega mural with a magnificent message of joy and hope!  

The young woman on the South wall is holding a glowing flame in an orb, which "symbolizes Shreveport's hopes and dreams for the future." Her billowing skirts represent "wind."

No minute detail was overlooked in these massive pieces of art.

The Magnolia, the official state flower and the Shreveport Rose, the city flower are beautifully mingled.

The following are paintings on various buildings throughout 9-blocks around the city referred to as Shreveport Common.  They are part of the "12 Uncommon Murals" project designed by area Artists.

The large painting on the side of this printing company is a scene from the local Caddo Lake.

"A Call to Action" by Al Bahler is on the side of the Shreveport/Bossier Convention & Tourism Building and spectacularly lite at night.

The old hotel in the foreground is being partially demolished to make room for a new locally owned brewery company.

These tumbling jokers are a fun accent to the side of this multi-storied apartment building.

This artist was determined to turn the dead, gray and rusty browns of the city into colorful, interesting scenes.

"Frog Prince" is a larger than life painting of a young girl laying in the grass.  It was done by J. Ben Moss on the side of a 6-story building and is my favorite.

"Putting on the Arts" replicates the door scroll work on the now deteriorating B'Nai Zion Temple.

This 80' x 15" mural was designed by local renowned author, filmmaker and illustrator of children's literature, William Joyce.  "Rolie Polie Olie" is an illustration from one of his books and films.
Check him out HERE

There are many more, but I will save them for another day.

What's something fascinating about where you live? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Unofficial Observances

NATIONAL V-J DAY – August 14 – 15 – Unofficial Observances

In the spirit of cooperation, I am going to show our own unofficial observance of duplication.

Our daughter and SIL are replicating the mural behind them.  Are they not the cutest!

Last week we attended two performances of "Matilda The Musical" in which our 12 year old Ava Grace had a part.  It was held at the Latino Cultural Center in Downtown Dallas.  In case you missed yesterday's blog post where I showed pictures of our Amanda and scenes from the play, you can see them HERE!

 This is the beautiful lobby.

The colorful painting in the rotunda outside the lobby, is a highlight of this architecturally interesting building.

There is also a very nice though small art gallery inside as well as the lovely theater.

 Now join us for answers to Terri's Wednesday Medley questions.  The Meddler's answers can be found HERE!


NATIONAL V-J DAY (Victory over Japan Day)

1.  I'm sure many kids today have no idea what V-J Day is all about.  Did you have a loved one who fought in WWII?
Yes, I had an uncle - my mother's brother - and I have the Japanese sword to prove it.
2.  The iconic sculpture from the famous photograph of  "The Unconditional Surrender" has been defaced recently because of the #metoo movement. I know we can get very political about this subject, but just keeping it in the spirit for which it was created, what are your thoughts?

I will try very hard to keep my response "in the spirit for which it was created."
I think this statue is an adorable reminder of what so many of our soldiers experienced and felt when they returned from this horrible war.  The people were truly grateful for their sacrifice and service.  And the men and women were grateful to finally be home.  I doubt this pretty nurse was kissed against her wishes.
The various movements in the last few years have created more division than unity and in that way are destroying evidences of historical significance.  Our state has it's own "movements" and groups who are determined to remove every beautiful statue that remotely relates to the Civil War.  This is very disturbing.
I am sorry to see the above statue defaced in such a way, but am more resentful that groups of people are allowed to do this and get away with it in the spirit of free speech.

3.  Terri's grandson, Tristan, loved playing a game called "Axis & Allies".  It was quite complicated, took up the entire dining room table, and was not something Terri wanted to play (Grandpa understood it and played though).  Can you name three Axis countries and five of the many Allies (okay to look it up!)?
Germany, Italy and Japan
Great Britain, USA, France, Russia, Australia
4.  Terri was surprised to learn that most historians agree that WWII began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Others say it started when Japan invaded Manchuria on September 18, 1931. And some scholars suggest WWII is actually a continuation of WWI, with a break in between.  Have you ever visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii or any other WWII memorials around the world?

No memorials but I have visited these museums.
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I have visited the wonderful World War II Museum in New Orleans.  If you are ever there, this is a must see.

We have also been to the World War II Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.  The Admiral Nimitz War Museum adjoins this museum.  Both of these are wonderful places to spend a day or two.

5.  Calvin Graham was only 12 years old during WWII when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He won a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart before the Navy found out how old he was.  (God bless him.) Terri doesn't know any 12-year olds today who could qualify or get away with something like that.  Times are so very different now but (in the US) we do have ROTC in high schools.  Do you know anyone who started in ROTC and went on to enlist in one of the services?
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I only know of one, the son of a family friend who is currently serving in the US Navy.  Adam was honored to be in the color guard and carry the POW flag at a Cardinals/Seahawks game last year.
6.  Please tell us something about your week so far.

Yesterday was the 25th wedding anniversary of our son John and his lovely wife, Michelle.  We love them both so much and wish them a very Happy Anniversary.  Where have the years gone?

As my life has been rather uneventful up to this point, I want to share some more pics taken from our trip to Dallas last week.

We were delighted to take a couple of our grands out for dinner on Friday before the play.  Chandler had a back-to-school event and was unable to join us.  But we loved having time with Brad and Cassidy and her friend Kevin.

These delicious appetizers introduced us to the delicious entrees yet to come.  The one on the left is a corn dish made with bone marrow and served in the bone.  Interesting and very tasty.  The guacamole was some of the best I have ever eaten .  If you ever have a chance to eat at Beinvenidos in the Turtle Creek area of Dallas, you must do so.

A view of the Dallas skyline from the restaurant.

We could not be more proud of our young actress.

You may recall that a couple months ago a crane was blown over during a thunder storm in Dallas, killing one woman and injuring several.

The scene of this horrible accident was right behind the theater so I was able to get some close-up pictures.

The clean-up should begin any day now.
On Thursday of this week, I will make another trip to Dallas for the brunch shower of our Granddaughter Emily who will be getting married in Fayetteville, AR in October.

I am looking forward to having some more time with our family.  I never get enough of that.
Enjoy your week and check back tomorrow for the pictures of Shreveport's building art.