Main Street Storefront Murals Project
I am an artist-resident of Read's ArtSpace;- the former department store located in downtown Bridgeport, CT., which was converted into affordable housing for artists in 2004. Since moving to Bridgeport in 2004, I have been active in arts-community development initiatives involving art and gardening and have created a butterfly garden on-site at Read's ArtSpace;- with materials assistance from The Bridgeport Land Trust.
The Main Street Storefront Murals Project is an anti-blight public art project addressing the empty and derelict storefronts located along Main Street in downtown Bridgeport, CT;- a once thriving shopping district. Initiated in August, 2011, with funding and support from The City of Bridgeport's Office of Economic Planning and Development and The Downtown Special Services District, the first of the series of proposed storefront murals, 'Butterfly Dreaming' was completed as of September 5, 2011. The mural symbolically references the creative process and transformation of ideas into reality via the painted rendering of a woman's head, spilling open with a fluttering cloud of vividly colorful butterflies.
What makes this project awesome are three things:
(1. Witnessing first-hand theundeniable power of art 'in-your-face'/ in -a - public -place'; especially in a dark, dingy and blighted urban landscape;
(2. This mural has generated a community dialog about creating a city-wide mural arts program and has sparked discussion about developing an after-school arts program for middle-school-high school students involving mural painting internships for 2012-2013;-
(3. Me(!);- This project has proved to me that my vision and talent is appreciated, needed and supported by the community I live in and that my voice IS being heard!
I feel a sense of mission or 'calling' about this project and feel gratified and encouraged to continue with my project-plan by dint of the support and encouragement I have already received by the local community.
Funded by Connecticut (April 2012)