Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Joplin - Creating the Mural Design Part II

In the studio, we divided up the tasks for creating the final design. Kyle and Amber composed parts of the kids drawings into a visionary world of transition and transformation, while I integrated their work into the larger design with a section of the mural that referenced Joplin's origins on the left side and a section that symbolized regeneration and hope on the right.
Kyle and Amber sort through drawings.

Dave begins to compose the final design.
Below is the final drawing of the design for the mural. It is drawn to a 1 inch equals 1 foot scale which makes the full drawing 19 inches tall and 105 inches long. Scroll down to see details of the design with descriptions of the imagery.

Inspired by the metamorphosis of butterflies, the myth of the Phoenix, and the capacity for renewal expressed in the imaginations of children, the design is a like short picture story in three chapters. (click on the image to make it larger)
In the far left panel, a miner standing atop giant crystal formations points out toward the future and a young George Washington Carver examines the roots of a plant specimen. Above the figures, is the first part of a quote from Langston Hughes'  poem "In Time of Silver Rain." Dividing this panel from the rest of the mural is a large serpentine shape taken from the Wilders Restaurant neon sign on Main street.
To the right of the Wilders sign, two children sit a table drawing. Their pictures activate an imaginary landscape that unfolds in front of them beginning with a small butterfly that floats above the surface of the wall.
At the center of the mural, images made by children in our drawing workshops depict clean-up activities after the tornado.
After the challenges of the storm, new flowers bloom, trees sprout new leaves, and children come out to play. Butterflies float magically over the surface of the mural carrying its images within their wings.
In the far right panel, divided from the imaginary landscape by a neon sign inspired by Wilders Restaurant, eagles carved from tree stumps downed during the tornado are illuminated by the light of a Phoenix which has taken flight. Inscribed above the Phoenix is the second part of the quote from  the Langston Hughes' poem "In Time of Silver Rain."

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