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Archive for the ‘Asheville Mural Project (AMP)’ Category

The Asheville Mural Project, a program of Arts 2 People, exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to implement their own public art. AMP believes that murals enhance quality of life and create an artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. The murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

AMP is making Asheville a city where the mural arts are celebrated and has joined forces with local professional muralists to create the highest  quality art which will serve as lasting monuments. This is testified to in a recent article from Kent Ohio point directly to inspiration from AMP’s Lexington Gateway Mural for the making of their own city mural. Read below for more info a new mural that was just comissioned by The Cotton Mill Studios in Asheville!

A Case using Murals to Beautify and Revitalize: AMP hired to paint a Mural on the Historic Cotton Mill Studios:

The Historic Cotton Mill Studios, located in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC is what remains of the Cotton Mill Complex which was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1995. The building was purchased by potters Eileen & Marty Black (The Potter’s Mark Ltd.) in 2002 and is the home to nine artists.

The North side of the building indicates where the fire stopped, burning up to the wall.  The building was saved both by an operating sprinkler system and a shift in the winds away from the building.

pre-mural &post-fire view of the old Cotton Mill's north side

Unfortunately, this was the view [Left] of the River Arts District to passersby’s on the Smokey Park Bridge over the French Broad river. It made the River Arts District look like a burned out slum. After Purchasing the building Marty & Eileen began a facelift to improve the image and Identity of the River Arts District. They started by cleaning and painting the burned out side wall so the view from the bridge would be more appealing, hopefully attracting more visitors to the area.

Symbol for the River Arts District and view of the north side of the Cotton Mill now

The mural symbol they added to the building now identifies the River Arts District. [left].

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The front of the building [below] also showed signs of the devastating fire and, after many years of looking at it, Eileen and Marty decided that it also needed a facelift.

Front of the Cotton Mill Studio now. Site for the new AMP Mural

Investigating many possibilities the Blacks decided on a mural, but not just any mural, they wanted a “Trompe l’oiel”. Trompe l’œil, (French for ‘deceive the eye’, pronounced [tʁɔ̃p lœj]) is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the impression that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.

Ian Wilkinson the Mural Program Director of the Asheville Mural Project, a program of Asheville’s  non-profit Arts 2 People came up with the ideal solution. This mural [rendering shown below] should be completed  by mid-October 2010.

Projection of what the new AMP Mural will look like on the Cotton Mill Studio

Eileen and Marty hope that this will become a landmark and the beginning of many similar murals on the old buildings of the river Arts District (RAD), resulting in attracting many more tourists to Asheville and the RAD.

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AMP Director Ian Wilkinson hard at work on the Lexington Gateway Mural

About AMP’s Director: Ian Wilkinson has been a professional muralist for fifteen years. He was the lead mural artist for the Holocaust Museum of Virginia. Ian painted murals depicting the Ipsen Family’s escape from the Holocaust, and worked directly with other Holocaust survivors to make detailed drawings that would be used to recreate key points in the museum.  Ian went on to earn his BFA in painting from Adams State College in Colorado. Ian shows his personal work in Santa Fe and private collections across the country. Ian specializes in portraits, realism, and large format work. He is currently the Director of the Asheville Mural Project (AMP), which is a program of Arts 2 People. Ian lives in Asheville with his wife Angeline, daughter Ella and son Augustus.

It is AMP’s goal to make murals an affordable and lasting solution for beautifying and revitalizing buildings, homes, and businesses. The AMP team works closely with clients in the proposal phase of the project. AMP works hard to meet budgetary requirements and navigate the permit processes. All works are created using state-of-the-art materials. The AMP team offers a number of different service agreements for clients to assure our works will stand the test of time and weather. AMP also specializes in child directed murals and offers free lectures and workshops. To find out more about AMP, please visit http://www.arts2people.org/amp.html or email Ian Wilkinson at info@ianthepainter.com.

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Asheville Mural Project: A Sneak Peek!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
7-10 pm
19 Carolina Lane, Grace Studios

Arts 2 People has officially announced a sneak-peek event unveiling the finished “Chess Players” piece of the Lexington Gateway Mural destined for the Broadway/Merrimon side of the project.

The mural for the Broadway/Merrimon side has been done using a technique known as merouflage, painting on cloth, and will be hung to be viewed for the first time at Grace Studios for the event.

The $25 event ticket includes catering by Mela and locally crafted beer from the Lexington Avenue Brewery, and one raffle ticket for a beautiful piece of furniture donated by Terra Nostra Decor.  Entertainment by members of Seduction Sideshow and The Pond Brothers. The muralists will be present to meet and greet supporters. All proceeds from the event will be used to complete the mural!

The Lexington Gateway muralists are Trish Tripp, Kurt Thaesler , Harper Leich , Melissa Glaze, Steve Lister, Daniel Beck, Molly Must, and Ian Wilkinson

The Asheville Mural Project , a program of Arts 2 People , exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to implement their own public art. Murals enhance quality of life and create an artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. The murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

They are working to complete a section featuring two chess players engaged in play. The inspiration for this work comes from two gentleman that play in Pritchard Park daily in the warm months. The idea is to celebrate and sort of deify these two fellows for being a fundamental but potentially overlooked aspect of Asheville’s Downtown culture . It is a goal of our artist designers to accentuate things that are defining elements  of Asheville. The large format of our public works is a great way to magnify important things that normal passersby might miss.

The opposing mural on Merrimon’s west side will celebrate our agricultural importance, viability, and  how sustainability is an important part of Asheville culture. This mural designed by Trish Tripp , and Melissa Glaze is underway in our studio in the River Arts District.

Recently the mural project as a whole has switched mural techniques . The first half of the project was completed using  a more  traditional approach of painting directly on the surface of the bridge. Now we have adopted an old technique called marouflage.  This method of painting murals on canvas like materials and laminating to a prepared surface has been improved greatly with the  advent of modern materials. It creates a strong, long lasting mural and allows artist to work continuously through months when weather wouldn’t usually permit. There are numerous benefits to this technique  and it has greatly improved the production and efficiency of our work. The Mural Project artists are too many to list because we employ the help of many different groups; from graffiti artist, to volunteers, Warren Wilson students and local “at risk” youth groups etc. Above is a list of our core artist that  can be accredited not only with designing and painting for this project, but really giving their hearts and souls to this endeavor.

The Asheville Mural Project is Directed by Molly Must and Ian Wilkinson.

Contact:

Arts 2 People
The Asheville Mural Project
Kitty Love, Executive Director
kitty@arts2people.org
(828) 216-8815

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Art Spark

Posted by daver in City Living on March 12, 2010 | no responses

My mention of the Haymaker Farmer’s Market interest in an art mural on the columns beneath the Haymaker Bridge earlier in the week sparked a fair amount of interest from folks.  People seemed to feel that the Market was on to something good and they were letting me know that we (aka the City) needs to do more to promote public art projects like this since art runs deep in Kent’s DNA — both formally with the art education programs and professional galleries like the KSU Gallery and the McKay Bricker Gallery, and at the other end of the spectrum with a glom of  indie artists randomly found around town doing their own thing in unexpected places (like streetcorners or at the Professor’s Pub).

I tend to agree that the City needs to do whatever it can to advance the arts — both the formal and informal forms of creative expression.  I don’t make that statement to be politically correct or for some philanthropic agenda, rather if we’re serious about selling the Kent experience as an eclectic mix of characters, places and sensory stimuli then art has to be part of the community conversation and stake it’s claim at the alter of eccentric Kent.  The adjectives and descriptors of art — quirky, surprising, confusing, thought provoking, and even shocking — also happen to pop up when talking about many aspects of Kent so in that regard art resonates and even amplifies the Kent ethos (or milieu for the high brow artists among us.)

Our efforts to market the Kent lifestyle is not unique to us — it’s the core of a lot of city development efforts.  Those bold Texans in Austin have taken it so far as to proudly adopt the tag line “Keep Austin Wierd” in a national campaign to be the world headquarters of everything odd.  You can’t help but admire the lengths they’ve gone to realize their aspiration — the video of the 6′4″ cowboy walking down the street in his raw hide boots and matching thong did me in but clearly they have no fear in embracing their unique sense of style.

Another ambitious city that has embraced the off-beat is Asheville North Carolina.  They’ve carved themselves a unique place in the mountains of North Carolina that is equal parts hippie and hill-billy – and it works really well.  Great art, great street scene, great restaurants and a surprising mix of people of all kinds of dispositions.

It turns out that Asheville is one of the sources of inspiration for the Kent art mural project that has been adopted by the Haymaker Farmer’s Market.  They’ve got their own infrastructure art thing going on.

Here’s a few good links to learn more about the Asheville project

Asheville Story Archives

Kent still has a long way to go to catch Asheville but it’s nice to know that we’re in good company.

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by Rebecca Sulock in Spork

Mountain Xpress Vol. 15 / Iss. 50 on 07/08/2009
http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2007/070809spork/

Photo By Jonathan Welch

Photo By Jonathan Welch

AMPlight shines: Harper Leich, Steve Lister and Kurt Thaesler paint on the Lexington Avenue mural.

Walking from midtown (the nickname I’ve tried and failed to give the land between Merrimon and Broadway, but it never catches) to downtown has gotten a lot different over the years. Used to be, you’d walk past punk/art houses and under the blandy I-240 overpass into what was really just prime hobo territory. Now you’ve got the Pioneer Building and this bright, sparkly mural gracing the concrete of those freeway pillars.

That mural is growing larger and bolder even as I type. Three deft painters are working to finish the Lexington side — watch for them up on the scaffolding, bikes parked beneath. And now the Asheville Mural Project has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the small, family Chaddick Foundation. Organizers hope to raise another $5,000 to match that grant and finish both Merrimon Avenue sides.

“It’s incredible, so awesome, we’re so grateful,” says Molly Must, AMP’s director, of the grant money. AMP is a giant community project that couldn’t exist without the talent and labor of many artists, and the money from dozens of sponsors. It took years to navigate the red-tape involved in painting a mural on N.C. DOT property, but now even the DOT is singing praise for the project.

“Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty, writes operations engineer Ken Wilson, who says he hopes the mural inspires graffiti artists (once frequenters of the same area) to use their talent and energy in creative, constructive ways. A few updates:

• If you’ve walked or driven past the project during a summer storm, you may have seen the water pouring off the overpass. A break in the roadway meant water was dousing the mural. AMP has found someone to build flashing and caulk the whole thing to where that should be solved.

• After Must took a trip to learn about Philadelphia’s massive, $6 million-per-year mural program, she brought back some tricks for AMP. The Merrimon sides of the project will be created with a new, less-expensive and more collaborative technique that may actually be more durable, too. It involves painting squares of parachute cloth and gluing (OK, it’s really strong glue) to the side of the piers.

• The Merrimon murals have more decidedly Asheville themes. One side will be devoted to our local agricultural community, and will focus on the farm-to-market movement and local farmers markets. The other will showcase the chess players in Pritchard Park, including Charles O’Kelley, who plays the outdoors boards every day the sun shines (he shows up playing chess in the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher).

• Soon enough, Harper Leich, Kurt Thaesler and Steve Lister will have finished the Lexington side, and the dialogue between the two murals will begin. Check out the drum circle theme that builds between them.

• Along with Arts 2 People, the city of Asheville and the Chaddick Foundation, sponsors include the Asheville Downtown Association, Greenlife Grocery, Downtown Asheville Residents Association, Julie Vann, EcoBuilders, Ted Warner, the Lexington Avenue Bizarre Bazaar, Public Interest Projects/The Orange Peel, Rosetta’s Kitchen, Ken Sehested, Jason Rector, Whitt Rylee, On a Roll Screen Printing, Bionic Man Painting, Izzy’s, Henco Graphics, Shanda Christian, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, Malaprop’s, Asheville Arts Council, Sherwin Williams, Stephen Jones and Joan Goodman.

Sponsors could also include you. If you’d like to get involved, donate money or equipment (AMP is currently setting up an office in Riverview Station and needs a computer, scanner and digital projector), check out http://www.arts2people.org/amp.html or e-mail Must at molly@arts2people.org

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Macon News

http://www.maconnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5110&Itemid=85

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ASHEVILLE – As motorists drive down heavily traveled Lexington Avenue in Asheville, they will see something other than graffiti.

The I-240 bridge underpass is now home to the Asheville Mural Project. It strives to replace the graffiti with elaborate and colorful paintings, which reflect the unique history, context and culture of Asheville.

The project is an unprecedented collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city of Asheville and the non-profit organization Arts 2 People. To date, 11 local artists have volunteered to work on the project.

Before the project began, commuters driving on Lexington Avenue under the I-240 bridge saw concrete “tagged,” or written on, with offensive graffiti. Despite efforts by NCDOT and the local police to stop the graffiti, the “taggers” continued to deface the property.

“We hope this mural inspires graffiti artists to use their talents and energies in other ways,” said NCDOT Division 13 Operations Engineer Ken Wilson. “Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty.”

Asheville artists have painted a mural on the I-240 bridge underpass that had previously been defaced by graffiti. Eleven different artists have worked on the project. A local non-profit called Arts 2 People is raising money to complete the project.

The Asheville Mural Project was proposed in May 2005 by Project Coordinator Molly Must. She became inspired after seeing concrete art in Canada. A little over a year after approaching the city of Asheville and NCDOT, she received permission to start the project.

Must held a “call to artists” and selected six artists who volunteered to work on the project. They worked collectively to design and paint the mural. Five more artists are now working to complete the project.

In contrast to graffiti, these artists do not use spray paint. Instead, they use a specialized form of acrylic paint, which is expensive. To afford supplies for the remainder of the project, they are accepting donations on these two Web sites, www.ashevillemuralproject.org or www.arts2people.com.

For more information on the Asheville Mural Project, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 733-2522.

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Thursday, 16 July 2009
NCDOT, town and local artists beautify Asheville bridge

http://www.maconnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5110&Itemid=85

Macon News

ASHEVILLE – As motorists drive down heavily traveled Lexington Avenue in Asheville, they will see something other than graffiti.

The I-240 bridge underpass is now home to the Asheville Mural Project. It strives to replace the graffiti with elaborate and colorful paintings, which reflect the unique history, context and culture of Asheville.

The project is an unprecedented collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city of Asheville and the non-profit organization Arts 2 People. To date, 11 local artists have volunteered to work on the project.

Before the project began, commuters driving on Lexington Avenue under the I-240 bridge saw concrete “tagged,” or written on, with offensive graffiti. Despite efforts by NCDOT and the local police to stop the graffiti, the “taggers” continued to deface the property.

“We hope this mural inspires graffiti artists to use their talents and energies in other ways,” said NCDOT Division 13 Operations Engineer Ken Wilson. “Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty.”

Asheville artists have painted a mural on the I-240 bridge underpass that had previously been defaced by graffiti. Eleven different artists have worked on the project. A local non-profit called Arts 2 People is raising money to complete the project.

The Asheville Mural Project was proposed in May 2005 by Project Coordinator Molly Must. She became inspired after seeing concrete art in Canada. A little over a year after approaching the city of Asheville and NCDOT, she received permission to start the project.

Must held a “call to artists” and selected six artists who volunteered to work on the project. They worked collectively to design and paint the mural. Five more artists are now working to complete the project.

In contrast to graffiti, these artists do not use spray paint. Instead, they use a specialized form of acrylic paint, which is expensive. To afford supplies for the remainder of the project, they are accepting donations on these two Web sites, www.ashevillemuralproject.org or www.arts2people.com.

For more information on the Asheville Mural Project, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 733-2522.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 24, 2009

Update on the Asheville Mural Project Summer 09

Arts 2 People’s Asheville Mural Project

Lexington Ave Gateway Mural

Summer 2009 – Grant and fundraising news included

Location: Lexington Avenue, under I-240 Overpass

http://www.ashevillemuralproject.org   http://www.arts2people.org/amp

The Asheville Mural Project is poised to complete last summer’s work on the concrete support piers of the I-240 Bridge downtown.  The Lexington Avenue side of the Gateway Mural is estimated to be completed by the end of July, where artists Kurt Thaesler, Steve Lister, and Harper Leich have been working to finish the portion dedicated to the arts in Asheville.  Painting is currently well underway, as well as a plan to address the water run-off issue occurring due to the break in the roadway overhead.

AMP will be honored as the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Chaddick Foundation at the end of June, and hopes to raise interest in the community to match the grant, for a total of $10,000 enabling the collective to complete the mural in it’s entirety, both Lexington and Merrimon sides.  Donations can be made to AMP c/o Arts2People PO Box 1093 Asheville NC 28802, or by visiting our website http://www.ashevillemuralproject.org. You may also contact AMP Director, Molly Must, at Molly@arts2people.org.

AMP is also the beneficiary of the first four Lexingon Ave Bizarres and truly wishes to thank the organizers! AMP’s scaffolding this time has been donated which is great as it is helping keep costs down. The team has hit one minor snag where they have been looking to find a solution for the drainage/ roadway leaking problem which is happening directly above the mural. The leaking is resulting in water pouring off the top of the concrete wall (the canvas) and over the top of the finish mural work. They have spoken with a roofer who hopes to come up with a long term solution to protect the mural.

The Gateway mural has been a collaborative effort amongst several painters in the Asheville Mural Project.  So far, for the past three weeks, three painters’ have been hard at work, Harper Leich, Kurt Thaesler and Steve Lister on the Lexington Gateway Mural to finish up the West side’s north section.

They have been really excited to get started on this side of the mural because their design really focused on the center, where both sections of wall supports come together, but do not touch. They felt that this was where the real potential in the mural design was and so it was a great feeling to get started on the north end and complete the other portrait to start the dialogue between the two images.

The drum circle created by silhouetted drummers also is an element that carries over from one wall the next, and sort of embraces this dialogue… the idea has been hanging out there while AMP has been fundraising and it is great to finally see the core concept taking shape now.

This west side of the Lexington Avenue mural project was tagged with the theme “Asheville’s Arts”. The general hope is that the life of the mural will summarize the arts and culture of city of Asheville.

AMP will be extending the mural to the Merrimon Avenue side of the bridge, and has gathered a new group of artists to manifest the plan.  One section of the design will be a large stylized image of two individuals playing chess in Pritchard Park.  One of the players in the mural, Charles O’Kelley, plays chess by the outdoor boards in the park “every day the sun shines” and indeed can be found there at the Haywood and Patton intersection on most summer days, contemplating the chess table he brings from home.  Originally reigning from New York, Charles appears playing chess in the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher.

The approach to these two new segments surrounding Merrimon Avenue will be very different from the project’s previous traditional techniques.  Inspired by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (muralarts.org), AMP will be using an off-the-wall method of painting on 5’ by 5’ sections of a non-woven fiber nick-named “parachute cloth” that will be applied to the wall with an acrylic medium, similar to wall-papering.  This method presents numerous advantages, namely the ability for many people to work on the project at once, on the walls of studio, or on tables at a community event, eliminating the extended use of scaffolding.  The mural should last longer as well, as the paint will be infused within the fibers and will be safe from peeling.

The Asheville Mural Project (AMP) seeks to build bridges within the community through the fantastic medium of public art. Locals and visitors alike benefit from the experience outdoor art invokes, as it connects them to the creative experience. Creating public art provides a uniquely enriching experience for artists and non-artists alike, and invests participants deeply in their community.

Murals beautify otherwise conventional and often bleak urban architecture, and reflect the unique culture and feeling of an individual place. The Asheville Mural Project aims to enliven our habitat by brightening dark corners, enhancing forgotten space and celebrating the every-day routes we travel. As well as enriching public life, murals memorialize the ideas, concerns, and dreams of a community. Murals are the voice, expression, and vision of a culture.

AMP is becoming a successful and enduring fixture for the area, enriching our environment and providing opportunities for our artists and youth.

The Asheville Mural Project has been supported by many people in the community and wishes to thank them all for the continued support to make over the years on the Lexington Gateway Mural. Sponsors include Arts 2 People, Asheville City, The Chaddick Foundation, The Asheville Downtown Association, Greenlife Grocery, Downtown Asheville Residents Association , Julie Vann, Eco Builders, Ted Warner, The Lexington Ave Bizaare, Public Interest Projects/ The Orange Peel, Rosetta’s, Ken Sehested, Jason Rector, and Witt Rylee, On a Roll Screen Printing, Bionic Man Painting, Izzy’s, Henco, Shanda Christian, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, Malaprop’s, Asheville Arts Council, Sherwin Williams, Stephen Jones, & Joan Goodman. Also thanks to everyone involved with the Christmas Gala of 2008, the Cirque de Murale of 07, and the Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festivals, and all of the performers who have donated their time at various events……

The Asheville Mural Project is a branch of the Arts2People 501(c)3 non-profit, an organization devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development. Arts 2 People houses several programs including the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF), the REACH Programming series, Moving Women, and the Faces of Asheville. Visit http://www.arts2people.org

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