Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Interbeing" Mural at Central High School by Josh Sarantitis

Just in case you've driven past Central High School in the past couple of days and wondered "Wow, what's going on?" That cool mural you're seeing being installed before your very eyes is the latest work of public art coordinated by UrbanArt created by renowned mural artist Josh Sarantitis.

Here's his concept behind the artwork, developed in conversation with Central High School art students:

  • The Mural will measure 4,000 sq ft, and be fabricated with a variety of media including glass mosaic tile, cut glass mosaic, and acrylic paint. One hundred students from Central High School have participated in both the design processes, as well as the fabrication and installation. The site is the school's large exterior wall, facing the football/track field (Crump Stadium).
  • This mural is about "Interbeing", a word first coined by Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, a close ally to Martin Luther King, Jr, and a leader who promotes peace, truth, and reconciliation throughout the world.
  • "Interbeing" describes the interrelationship between all people, the environment, and the world as a whole.
  • The mural has two main hands embracing a broken sphere. this sphere represents the human spirit as well as the spirit of Memphis. The hands are gently piecing the spirit ball back together- making it whole again. Wounds of the past can be healed, but the "scar" does not disappear.
  • As the word "interbeing" describes, the past is present in our everyday interactions, and in order to fully understand why there is pain and suffering, we must also understand happiness and joy. In this mural, the joys is  the color in the movement of line and the almost touching of the two hands.
  • Finally, the title of the mural "Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory (Take my hand Sweet Lord) because these were the last public words spoken by Dr. King in his speech to support the sanitation worker's strike. And "take my hand" were the last words uttered by Dr. King as he lay dying in front of door #306 at the Lorraine Motel (fyi "#306" the numerical address of Central High School). It is the "Interbeing" of Memphis history, the sadness and joy, that define this mural project.
Josh Sarantitis is using a material called 'Polytab' or 'Parachute Cloth' that can be drawn and painted on indoors, then applied to the wall.

 The artist, Josh Sarantitis, working with Central High School art students.

 The Artist Josh Sarantitis, and his assistant Greta McLain.

 The final design.


Anonymous said...

I saw this yesterday and thought this is wonderful. As an Alum, I was proud.

Anonymous said...

I saw this a few nights ago as I was driving west on Linden. I looped the corner to see it again. It was breath taking. As an alum, I too, was proud! Warriors '91!