As a pioneer in the mural movement it is more than exciting to watch the bounty of murals being created worldwide.
The concept of wall art goes back to all our ancestors. The power that this large art medium provides is immense.
The social side of the production, the tourism draw, the beautification, the economy and most of all the creation of a return to place and our connected stories.
The economy of mural art is based in many layers. The production of the contract scope of work, basically the hiring of the artists and the purchasing of supplies is layer one. Then comes the use of the art. Layer two. This of course brings in copyright and licensing, ah, yes! The scary copyright word, which is not scary at all, but actually the coin of the art economy that can become a circular economy that can support renewal and artists and our communities.
Then the inclusive layer three. Art is business, construction, signage, heath support, social programming, youth and senior engaging, diversity inclusion bridge, a learning centre, and a legacy tourism draw all rolled into a voice for time. Oh yah….. and it decorates our downtowns and alleys. Win WIn.
This is social community art work! Legacy work that can lead to a shared prosperity highway trail to help us rebuild a path to small businesses, resorts, small towns and most importantly to a creative economy that includes the creatives, and inclusive to all others.
Everyone can participate in wall in action! Heritage buffs, children, teachers, business owners, artists, street youth….politicians, elders, museums, downtown economic groups, art galleries…..well the list is endless.
As an artist that has created huge interactive diverse, and inclusive projects for over 35 years, it amuses me when murals are looked at as a new trend. It is not. Humanity has left stories and taught children through images on walls that are really time capsules in caves around the world. The new images may lack the longevity of the mountain walls, on rapidly fading infrastructure, but if taken to a circular level can become the very catalyst for new infrastructure and economy renewal strategies.
It is well known that I have been the voice pushing for a connected art trail for a very long time. Many know of my sometimes annoying soap box to push the importance of community art. It is something that so many have supported for several decades as something that is vital to community social change and tourism strategies.
Covid has made what has been a life long dream, become a common thread for many now looking to figure out safe visitation opportunities, work opportunities and rebuilding. I am excited about all the artists and partners, governments and stakeholders jumping into the mural movement. I am so proud to have been a pioneer in the field.
The one thing wisdom offers is…what is the overarching theme? and is there a connected path that builds infrastructure, and uses the art to build a shared social economy. This is the business of the arts. And that part is vital to long term benevolent foundation support and management of the cash…yes I said it cash that is going to be generated from the creative work. Imagine art as an economy…well this is now and it is happening…I hope we can not trade that property for a low artist fee. I hope we all as artists can work together to protect and build the public art resource into a circular resource and mine for a creative tomorrow. Building art mines around our communities that build the resources from our creatives on the economic financial spreadsheets of our politicians and city halls.
ART in Action is the social economy in Action. Stay tuned as we unroll some exciting new projects and learning on @artrouteblue @artroutegold @artroutradio @mlougherymurals