Van Brunt alley
- Artists begin annual summer mural at Northeast News
- Summer mural project nears completion at Northeast News
- Mural project hopes to turn problem KCMO alley into destination at KSHB Channel 41
The mural was designed as a mix of two fine art bookends with a beginner’s no-fail zone in the middle. If you can trace circle stencils and fill them in, you’re an artist here. Across a week, Fai drew the mockup using the basic iPad and Apple Pencil.
Then we made the little picture big. The grid method creates a bit higher precision and takes longer to set up, compared to the other murals here. They use spray paint, video projectors, or broad brushes to draft theirs more directly and quickly. We’re using an ultra fine style, like a printed coloring book, actually painted with fine brushes like you would use on paper. So ours isn’t quite as huge but it’s finer.
As soon as we got out of the car for the first time at the mural site, a ladybug landed on Fai. We saw big butterflies overhead. On the wall, a crew of slugs slowly emerged from the cracks. A praying mantis flew up, landed among them, and swiveled his head to watch Fai painting.
We took it all as a sign. We blessed the wall to have a positive impact on everyone who will ever see it forever.
We’ve never done these upscaling techniques, and never made a fine drawing this big. Fai read about it and just did it. For two days, we used a building contractor’s chalk line and tape measure to make 6×6 inch squares, and marked the corners with magic marker. I held the iPad as reference, and she drafted the outline of the face with magic marker. The chalk even lasted through a rain downpour when the marker disappeared. But we outlined the face and tree branch to get ready for the kids to come paint.
Phyllis and her kids traced from a video projector into paint, for their first ever mural. There’s a spare kid on the roof.
Madi the mural machine! One night, we all stayed late but the alley is pitch black. So we lent her some battery powered lights so she could keep going. Her website is MadiSunSanchez.com.
On August 28, 2020, about eleven African refugee kids came with Global Futbol staff. The kids were focused, respectful. Most had no prior art experience but they all had fun. They mostly filled in the tree branch, and created the circles.
The kids were so enthused that Fai shared her pride and joy, the fine face.
On September 4, 2020 we had another Global Futbol session but with only three kids so that we could focus on each one. This group was the art enthusiasts who want to learn to paint. We didnt want to leave anyone out but we had to focus on a deadline. And the news reporters came: Charlie from KSHB Channel 41 and Michael from Northeast News!
After the news interviews, we showed the kids more details this time, about mixing paint colors and handling brushes.
We had a launch party on September 19, 2020.