Here is an interior mural project I painted this summer at Anthony Overton Public School, in Bronzeville. It is an image of President Elect Obama looking at the amazing accomplishments of Overton's students, and a tribute to Bronzeville 47th Street Arts and Cultural District. It is located in the main hallway where two corridors intersect. It is an installation, creating a space for the students to experience.
I started this project on June 15, 2008, completed it on August 24,2008. The Local School Council is in such an uproar about this project, they wanted it painted over. One parent asked me "What if he doesn't win?" My response was he has already won.
Even though the school lost its arts funding, couldn't finish paying for this project, it was important for me to finish it. I stood on my own integrity to not just walk off this project. I wanted the students to be amazed the first day of school. There was no dedication! The LSC didn't want Ms. Luster as their principal nor anything to do with her school beautification project, it seems she didn't have their final approval. This was lead by a "Community At Large" LSC member. Painful? Very!
Now that President Elect Obama has won this historic election, do you think that the school will acknowledge the gift that was given to them this summer? Oh I ranted about this misuse of arts funding, misuse of an arts professionals time, and talent, and the unprofessional, and abusive behavior of a small minded group of parents, staff, community members. For the most part all of us artists had to remember where we were, 47th & Indiana, and the mindset of folks that live around the school.
I even sponsored a "RANT-A-Thon", at Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center, 1060 E. 47th street (four blocks from President Elect Obama's house), to give artists a place to exhibit politically charged art, and a platform to talk about "Issues That Matter". No, I didn't rant about this issue, I just hope the students felt prideful that they have one of the first murals in their school that depicts this historic moment.