Sunday, December 29, 2019

Wall Therapy: A Prelude and Thank You

Downtown Rochester
Wall Mural

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my posts to this blog.  I enjoy writing about what I see on my travels both near and far.  I am presently on the move - but this time it is my own house that will change - as we are moving from Brighton to Fairport!

What brought me here in the first place was an offer of a teaching position at Rochester Institute of Technology, and I said yes! and packed up my family and moved upstate from Brooklyn, New York.
What a change!  You could actually get somewhere if you drove around town in Rochester... 

I came to teach, and it is actually the joy I get from working with the younger folks who have self-selected to become artists.  I have had some wonderful experiences, and one of them was a project my students and I got involved with and that was painting murals - way before Wall/Therapy arrived here to make it into the big-time!

R.I.T. students of Illustration painting our CASA Mural
circa 1992

We had the help of all the students in my illustration class, but most of all we  had the winning design by a fellow in the class named Robert E. Lee!  During the warm and  then cold winter months we enlarged on Robert's drawings and went to work with the blessing of CASA ( Court Appointed Special Advocates ) who gave a voice to children caught up in court battles.  They had found a wall for us in the Downtown Rochester Parking Garage, just below the court buildings.

Getting the details right.. R.I.T. Illustration students
circa 1992

Services were donated by a local billboard company with the management of Robert Whiteside, blowing up the original drawings to the wall size we needed.  This kind of work needs a lot of painting people to succeed!  Luckily we have very fine students who really care about what they are doing, and how they make their mark!

Students paint a portrait of a time when....

So I ran across these old photos now taken almost 30 years ago, and since we are embarking on a new decade, I thought I would share a moment of this experience with you.  The mural is still there, and I wonder what the students who painted it would think about their work now?  I  find it remarkable, for the group effort and also for the organization that it represents.  We try to help each other, and it is in that spirit that I say welcome to 2020, and hope that we can all get along, and learn from our experience....