Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gabby Douglas & public art in VA

Hey there,

It's Arts, Dance, Music & Theatre Thursday and for today's post, I wanted to post on a mural recently done of Gabby Douglas in her home town of Virginia Beach.

Wikipedia's Mural entry gives a good perspective on the history and significance of murals:
Murals are important in that they bring art into the public sphere...A city benefits by the beauty of a work of art. (read more)
In Washington, DC in particular, murals have been used as a tool for community building. In fact, there's an organization called Murals DC which is dedicated to that:
Initiated in 2007 by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, the project has resulted in the creation of over thirty murals that reflect the character, culture, and history of neighborhoods in the District (read more)
That being said, when I heard about the mural Todd and Eric Lindbergh did to celebrate Gabrielle Douglas' Olympic achievements, I could only think what I wonderful example of a community celebrating through art.

The brothers actually have a mural company called Talent Murals in Virginia Beach, Gabby's hometown, and they shared in front of the piece on their Facebook page.

In case you didn't know, Gabby currently resides in Iowa. But hometown pride is all about where you came from. And Gabby actually returned to Virginia Beach this evening.

The Virginia Pilot actually did an interview with Todd Lindbergh as it was being finished last week:


And Gabby, at her age, has shown tremendous poise and maturity. I say at her age, and not for her age, because I've seen people twice, thrice as old act half as mature. I also say that because she's had to deal with some immature and off-topic...focus. Rather than talk about her accomplishment a vocal few had to discuss her hair and insinuate that because she didn't treat or relax it, that she wasn't taking care of her appearance. Well, she responded quite gracefully, of which the below is just a portion:
“I don’t think people should be worried about that. We’re all champions and we’re all winners. I just say that it’s kind of, a stupid and crazy thought to think about my hair.”
Fortunately, she's had so much more positive than negative feedback, and all you have to do is follow her Twitter account. She's got 680,000 followers as of the time of this post and I'm sure it's still growing. You see her engaged not just by tweeting about what she's up to, but being gracious in RT'ing and responding to others. My favorite one  is the following:
Which brings us full circle, a wonderful example of a work of public art. In this case done by members of a community to celebrate the accomplishments of one of their own. Hoping Gabby gets to see it in person while she's there.

Any favorites from murals in your community? Please share. And keep an eye out for next week's Art, Dance, Music & Theatre Thursday blog, the GOP VP's nominee record on the arts,

- JR
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