Thursday, November 13, 2014

Urban LIFT Uptown Mural at Brian's Grocery

By Alex Clementi 

As a native Memphian, artist Charlie Forrester was more than excited to bring something “a little more unique” to the public art scene in Memphis. With the help of UrbanArt, Forrester has recently completed his mural installation at Brian’s Grocery Store, located at 533 Noth 5th Street in the Uptown Neighborhood. The self-taught artist hoped to use his background in illustration to add a “unique type of light and dynamic quality” to the mural, which spans the side wall of the grocery store. Forrester observed that there has recently been renaissance, or a “heightened awareness and a stronger desire” for public art among Memphians, and he expressed how excited he is to be a part of it, even if it is “something small”. He also noted how Memphis, a city he says is “rich in culture, expression, and diversity,” deserves artwork that “will be celebrated—it should evoke feelings of pride and ownership of the communities we are a part of.” Forrester’s hope for the mural is that it will do just this—that people will walk away from the mural instilled with a sense of community pride, appreciation for the city they live in, and for the people who make up the neighborhoods around them. The mural should ultimately instill a sense of hopefulness of things to come.

Forrester also urges viewers to pay close attention to the themes represented in the mural that provide insight into the history of the Uptown neighborhood. For example, the artist explained that the trees are a large part of the mural because they are a large part of the community: “the trees were originally planted in 1920s, which symbolize Uptown’s history of being one of the first suburbs in Memphis.” He also explained that the red swing, the featureless figures, the multicolored homes, and the city skyline speak to a larger message about the Uptown neighborhood and Memphis at large. Want to know what they are? Travel over to Brian’s Grocery to see for yourself! 

This project was made possible by the Habitat for Humanity, Wells Fargo, and UrbanArt Commission.

No comments: