Mural needs to send the right message
Disagreeing over a piece of art is as old as art itself, so we are not surprised that some offered criticism of the plans for the mural on the side of the Porterville City Library.
During last week’s meeting of the Library and Literacy Commission and the Porterville Arts Commission, the initial design of the mural drew less than rave reviews. It appears the art will have to be a work in progress.
The mural is a unique partnership between WildPlaces, the Tulare County Step Up Youth commission and Burton Pathways Charter High School students. The project is being funded by a $10,000 grant from the Step Up Youth commission. The program is designed to fund projects that target youth who are involved in gangs or at risk of joining a gang.
The mural’s goal is to present an image empowering youth to succeed without gangs. Any other message, or a message that is not clear, would not be appropriate.
The group presented its draft proposal of hands coming out of a flowing river. While it was generally well-received, some parts of it were not so well received. One was a clinched fist that drew the most opposition, another a hand holding a carrot that one person felt looked like a weapon.
We are pleased to hear that revisions are already being made based on the comments from the commissioners. Art is in the eye of the beholder and each person can interpret art differently. However, the mural, with its goal of sending a message to youth to avoid gangs, should be clear in sending that message. Something that may be conceived as a weapon maybe isn’t the best idea.
We look forward to the mural being completed and commend the students and WildPlaces for undertaking the project and for being flexible with their design. We are certain the revisions will please the commission members and eventually the community.