Monday, June 9, 2014

Open Letter to @JoeFairbairn: Ray Reasoner of A.W.O.L. Tattoo Shows How Take Care of a Historical Mural That Came With the Building.

Dear Joe Fairbairn:
I am glad to hear the Andy Frisinger drop party for his CD packed the house. Word on the street, Joe's Wooden Nickel had a full house until the moment when the club had to close. One has to grant two kudos to the club and management. First, Krystal Gardener had a chance to open for the big act. Second, Anna, the booking agent is a total class act. Her pick of Slim Gypsy Baggage from St. Joe made for great Saturday night entertainment. I passed a set enjoying that band's raw talent. And I see Mark Hoeksema's black and white photographs of birches have some protection from a frame now.
I was admiring how you powered a major print brand into Search Engine Optimization with Webinars. I have an idea of the territory as I served as a Database Administrator for Dominion Industry, which slowly and painfully sold SEO in 2007 to realtors. I've never seen so many sales people strike out in my life as I sat near the sales area high above the City of Norfolk, windows overlooking the Elizabeth River. You had the right approach, and you prospered.
I admire Ray Reasoner, a tattoo artist who bought a defunct pool supply company on Sherman, across from Mangos, and he set about working years of paint from a tile mural, and he's still working the surface. I looked up the subject, and it appears to be a depiction of Peggy Fleming, a White Lake native who won the Miss America Pageant in the days when Dog & Suds wasn't a retro drive-in restaurant. The distressed look of the color tile appeals, and one has to wonder what are his plans for refreshing each square of detail. I am hoping that he consults with an expert in restoration. I have hear that some restoration experts will love a project so much they'll work for the cost of materials.
When the windows were cut into the old Grand Haven Post Office, the mural could have stayed intact. In a few days, I'll post how a wall and floor mural on Muskegon's Russell Block was preserved, doors and windows carved into the brick. It's an effect called pentemento, where traces of previous images are left to enhance the paint strokes or effects that come later. As we are all joined by the Grand Haven Art Walk community, artists such as Barbara Carlson, Jennifer Reyes, Michael Peoples and Farr Coston are available to assist with design decisions. I love how Unruly is adding an outdoor cafe, and yet the paint applied by children years ago is being left on the pavement as walls and boundaries arise.
Murals are more than paintings. Just ask Carl Goines, who transferred a Banksy mural from the grounds of an industrial ruin in Detroit. He caused an firestorm of conversation, much of it questioning.
Again, you're the kind of leader who does things right. The question is now, paint stripper or hire the original team to restore mural elements and make adjustments for the windows? A few locals have talked with me about the current state, saying, "Well, at least a panel of the mural was preserved". I wish I could be so sanguine.
Essentially, my idea of murals can be best espressed by the words of E.B. White, who wrote this poem about a conversation between the Rockfeller family & Diego Rivera. Wow, the actual page from the New Yorker where this poem appeared is available on the net? You see, artists are like pigeons. We notice the slightest of changes in walls, and the page of the New Yorker from May 1933 is a wall.
Thank you for your kind consideration,
Captain Art Walker, volunteer for Grand Haven Art Walk, 2010 - 2014.
Feel free to call. I make free referrals to artists who are part of the Art Walk nation.

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