Students Put Finishing Touches on Mural for Downtown Mobile

date: September 09, 2014

A new mural for the Gayfers Building downtown is nearing completion.

Created by young people participating in ChARTing New Directions, MAC’s program in Mobile County Boys and Girls Clubs, its ten panels will depict five areas in which the Clubs are located: Cody Road, Semmes, Theodore (Sonny Callahan), Crichton (Kiwanis) and Maysville (Optimist). Each area will be painted by students living in one of the other areas in order to teach them more about Mobile County, seeing it through the eyes of other young people.

The panels will be displayed at Mobile Arts Council before being installed on the Gayfers Building. You can preview them during ArtWalk on Friday, October 10.

The mural is being produced under the supervision of instructors Riley Brenes (MAC’s Education Coordinator), Lucy Gafford, and Kathleen Kirk.

The project is sponsored by PNC Bank, the National Endowment for the Arts, BAE, BLP Mobile Paints, Crampton Trust, the Hangout Music Festival, Sherwin Williams, and Signs Now (Azalea).

(The photograph shows a portion of the Theodore/Sonny Callahan scene, painted by students at Cody Road.)

MAC Unveils Its New Website

date: August 29, 2014

Mobile Arts Council unveils its new website, developed with funds from the Community Foundation of South Alabama - and the skill of Optera Creative.

It boasts a fresh, lively look, incorporating variations of the three primary colors and the graceful curves of our wings logo.

Among its features are a streamlined artist directory and a user-friendly calendar for the arts and cultural community in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

In addition, much Council business can now be more efficiently transacted, forms completed and submitted, and payments made, all online.

Explore and see what you think. And watch for additional developments.

MAC is particularly grateful for the knowledge, insight, and generosity of Optera Director Corrina Stellitano Murray and Art Director Steve Hampton.

Cataloging Mobile’s Public Art

date: August 14, 2014

Article written by Karen Spaulding

With the help of funding from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Downtown Mobile Alliance,  Bobbie Dixon has been busy helping the Mobile Arts Council track down public art in Mobile.  A recent graduate of the Univ. of South Alabama, Dixon has been working on the project since January. Her job was to first define and then find the public art in the Hank Aaron Loop downtown. 

“Once we had done those things, we had photos taken of the art and I researched the art works. Once we had facts like date, medium, artist, and location we were ready to start adding them to a site called Public Art Archive. We even plan to one day include the art works in an app so that when you are visiting downtown you will be notified when you are near public art,” Dixon explained.

One of the greatest parts of her internship was learning about the history of Mobile, with a lot of the public art based on that history. She noted that finding the artists of many older pieces has been difficult. For instance, the cross in Bienville Square tells who donated it, and the date, but not the artist. Dixon noted that her research uncovered about 70 works of public art, including the recently completed oysters and murals.

Conversations with artists such as Casey Downing helped define ‘what is public art?’ Downing, whose sculpture graces the Unity Point fountain, noted that “public art is anything the public has access to, and can always be changing, as opposed to private art, which can be very expensive.”

As this phase of the project nears completion, most of the material is ready to upload, and Dixon is looking for job opportunities and preparing to pursue a masters degree in art history. Meggan and Jeff Haller of Keyhole Photography are documenting the works.     

The ultimate goal is for the Mobile Area Public Art Catalogue to be available as a smart phone app, website, brochure, and possibly other print formats, ideally becoming a model for the rest of the state, resulting in an Alabama Public Art Catalogue.

According to Arts Council Associate Director Charlie Smoke, phase two will involve the design and printing of a brochure for a walking tour, listing all the works with basic information about them and featuring a map showing their locations. Specific decisions about the best method(s) of making the information available will be made in phase two of the project, after additional research.

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