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What do you think makes a good mural?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 17, 2006

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Photo of Phil Bohlander

“I think for me it would be really great color. Something that really draws the viewer in. I personally like art that really hits me. Something bright and interesting.”

Photo of Ali Terkel

“Something that’s meaningful to a large group of people. It should make a statement about something important, and it should catch your eye and make you want to learn more about it.”

Photo of Sean Simmons

“It has to have a lot of emotion and contrast in it to catch people’s attention.”

Photo of Alyssa Friedman

“It has to be meaningful to people for years to come, not just something that’s an issue right now.”

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jonas 11 years, 9 months ago

A small, bespectacled man named after a mid-town KC district in a striped shirt and hat hidden somewhere inside it.

classclown 11 years, 9 months ago

Posted by jonas (anonymous) on September 17, 2006 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A small, bespectacled man named after a mid-town KC district in a striped shirt and hat hidden somewhere inside it.


That would be pretty interesting. I wonder how many people will get it.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Hyde Park? Mr. Valentine? No, no, I've got it... Mr. Westport!

avaholic 11 years, 9 months ago

A good Mural? That's the question on the street? Slow news day yesterday I guess. Anyway, I think a good mural is one that raises questions in the viewers head. Why would the artist paint this? What message is he trying to get across. But it shouldn't be so abstract the the viewer has to decipher the imagery to get the message. If a few people feel uncomfortable after looking at it, it is most likely a good mural. Then again I know nothing of art so I may be full of it. If You like it you like it.

trinity 11 years, 9 months ago

i get it! cool post jonas...

ummm, anybody think that possibly this is the "ots" question today-because maybe the commishes are going to spring plans for a huge mural someplace in the city, on residents?

just a wild thought...prob'ly way off base...

beatrice 11 years, 9 months ago

I do know something about art. Without a doubt I can say that what it takes to make a good mural is -- a good artist!

ms_canada 11 years, 9 months ago

I am with you R I - the murals of Diego Rivera are magnificent. Just what so many posters above were saying. Lots of color, lots of passion from his heart for his beautiful country and it's people. His murals tell the story of his people. We have a wonderful museum in Edmonton and some of my favourite parts are the dioramas. Don't know what a diorama is? Well, picture a mural on a curved wall, a scene of, perhaps, an Aboriginal village. In front of the mural are life -like figures of people, animals and tents, etc. These dioramas vividly tell a story of life before and after the arrival of Europeans. I like these murals.

GardenMomma 11 years, 9 months ago

My thoughts exactly, trinity! What do you want to bet that within the next month there will be an article about an artist painting a huge mural somewhere downtown?

badger 11 years, 9 months ago

trinity and GardenMomma -

Or maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the article, you know, the one with the link to it right below the question about the book coming out about murals?

Geez Louise, with some people it's always gotta be conspiracy theory. Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar, guys.

I think what makes a good mural is a broad overall picture, something the eye can encompass in a single pass and find pleasing, with well-balanced color. What makes a great mural is when you have that, but also a sufficient level of detail to make closer inspection and contemplation worthwhile. I really enjoyed the murals in Lawrence because I thought the lent something interesting and unique to what would otherwise have been fairly generic wallspace.

space_rabbit_kerosene 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey Marion: "globs of paint thrown randomly against the wall". Isn't this the very technique employed by the city to deal with vandalism? Personally my favorite murals are created by water damage and decay. Wabi sabi murals representing the patina of modernity.

space rabbit

Linda Aikins 11 years, 9 months ago

How can you have this article without mentioning Stan Herd? One of his first big works was a mural on the side of a bank in Dodge City. It is still there today. Or the one he did inside Tellers.

He is indeed a man of mystery!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 9 months ago

H_L, You supply the tequila, I'll paint!

RI< Diego Rivera? Do you seriously know who he is? Truly? Do you know something of art? I'm dumbfounded!

My all time fav. is T.H. Benton. I've been to visit all of his murals in Jeff City and also his in the Truman Library. I'm just also a real fan of his work. (And too many others to mention.) I'd like to do a mural sometime. That would be the thrill of a lifetime for me. (Sorry, art gets me all excited.)

And can I just add...the Chief's did not get blown out like so many pessimists predicted. Didn't win, either, but we'll get 'em next time. And, If we had had the ball going into overtime, we would have won. Then southernbelle and I could have said we told ya so. (And I probably would have added a "naa nanny boo boo for good measure). But, alas. 'Twas not meant to be today. sigh

It was a good day, however, as I killed that giant, overgrown mole that was reeking havoc in my yard. Nasty little thing. I was beginning to think I had a trap-door buffalo which would have required a bigger trap.

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