Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Wall at a Time

When UrbanArt executive director John Weeden spoke at last month's Urbanexus event, sponsored by Next American City magazine, he talked about how they were going to be "painting the town, literally."

"Visitors to Memphis see a crumbling and ugly landscape. That has to change," Weeden said. "I'm declaring war on ugly landscape."

One battle is well underway at Madison and Third where Chicago artist Jeff Zimmerman and Rhodes College students are constructing a five-story mural next to Redbirds stadium.

Called "A Note of Hope," the project is in collaboration with Rhodes' Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts (CODA) and the building's owner, Chick Hill.

At the Urbanexus event, Weeden noted that paint was a relatively easy and, especially in this economic climate, cost-effective way to radically transform an area.

I can't wait to see what this looks like when it's finished. Pre-trolley, I used to love driving down Madison to get to work in the mornings: the smell of the WonderBread factory, cresting over Danny Thomas, catching site of the morning sun glinting off of the Gassner building, seeing the city.

This just might have me detouring down Madison.

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