You may have realized that our vision for the schoolhouse doesn't quite include your typical white-walled pristine commercial building ideals. It doesn't involve humdrum "acceptable" types of khaki, innocuous business styles that placidly cater to everyone of all ages and all walks of life- without truly inspiring or wowing a single person. The schoolhouse is an innately impressive place, and it deserves to be equally an inspiring one.
This spring, I began the first mural in the schoolhouse entryway. Joel and I had been debating whether to keep the original yellowing brick walls from the 1930s- or to paint them. On the one hand, it seemed like a good idea to preserve the original style as homage to Milton's previous life as a pillar of education in the community. On the other hand, no amount of scrubbing, powerwashing, chemical washing, or desperate praying seemed to pull the dingy grimey tint from the clutches of those yellow bricks. Finally, we concluded, since "dirty" wasn't part of the historic look of the schoolhouse- and not quite the appearance we wished to promote in our own chapter of this place- my darling husband relented to my pleas and allowed me to test paint the foyer of the entryway to determine how it might look with a new approach. He thought I was just going to paint those walls a solid color....silly boy.
Late one night while Joel was away, I woke up at 3am- completely and totally energized and ready to go. That night, this happened:
It was the start of the extremely long peacock mural, and its progress soon convinced Joel that Milton didn't need dirty yellow bricks- but beautiful, bold colors.
The peacock mural is almost at its completion. Along with the rooster hanging above our front door, both of these pieces illustrate a line from the first stanza of a poem that is very dear to us at Milton.
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamer of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
("Ode" by William O'Shaughnessy)
(The entire poem is fantastic- you should look it up.)
And so, it was decided, that all murals in the north wing should illustrate part of this powerful piece of literature.
But, dang....do we have a lot of wall space. Even if we didn't have anything else to build out, it'd take us years to mural the whole thing.
A few months ago, I met Josh. He helped us a bit on the logo we painted outside of Marie the Cheescake Lady's room, and expressed interest in taking on a mural in the school. Discussion ensued and future generations will one day say "That was how all of these murals came out".
I'll make sure to introduce you to Josh proper when he gets a good start on his piece. In the meantime, you might be thinking, "Well, that sounds amazing! How can I get involved?"
If you don't have any artistic talent whatsoever, but still want to help out, you can shoot us an email or facebook message and schedule a time to come over to help prime walls. Really, it doesn't take any talent- just time. And paint clothes. And no fear of ladders or lack of central AC. In exchange, you'll get the benefit of visiting the schoolhouse in the future, pointing to an amazing artistic creation, and telling your date/spouse/kids/grandchildren/boss/pet iguana that you, yes you! were a truly essential part of bringing that mural to life. And, you'll be able to say it in earnest because it'll be completely 100% true.
If you do have artistic talent and think you might want to undertake a section of our wall space, here's what you need to do:
1. Read the poem "Ode" by William O'Shaughnessy and pick out a few lines that strike your fancy
2. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- 3-5 images of your work OR a link to an online place where we can view your work (facebook/gallery/website/etsy shop)
- which lines you are interested in illustrating
- when your ideal start time for painting would be
If your work gets us excited, we'll meet up for an interview so that you can see which spaces are available and learn more about the provisions we can make for your project.
If you're not sure your style fits into the typical call for murals- talk to us anyway. As long as you've got talent and vision, we're open to all style types.