In 2012, the Richmond Virginia Art Community joined with national street artists to create murals on the flood walls along the James River Canal (media coverage is here and here). Because it was on the path I walked during lunch, I had the opportunity to watch as it was being created and later, the final product. I’d never gotten around to posting these before and thought they’d be perfect to share for this week’s photo challenge on scale.
You get an idea of the scale of this project here:
Maybe this one gives you a better idea of how huge these murals were. My sister took this picture of me last spring when she came for a visit:
Here are some of the finished murals:
The “James” written on the wall is a reference to the James River, from when it was polluted and smelly. It’s tremendously improved these days (thankfully).
The murals are still there. Each year since they were done, the city has added murals in other places. It’s purpose is to bring art to Richmond, cover up blank walls, and show off the arts.
There were other noteworthy things the day I took these photos. A woman was walking two baby goats along the canal with a leash and collar, just like the many dogs that walk there. I wasn’t the only one to stop and pet them and they created quite a buzz. In a corner by the murals, a growing collection of memorabilia was left. It contained all kinds of things, from clothes to eyeglasses to a clock. I’m not sure what its purpose was, but over the next few weeks it got bigger and bigger. After a few rains, someone (probably the city) cleaned it up.
In general, the murals highly creative and quite complex. Some of it was tactless and tasteless (little kids walking by do not need to see naked boobs). That’s not a surprise. Everyone has a different idea of what is good and proper. While most of the artists worked in teams, one artist had his young children help paint the bottom of his mural. I enjoyed watching them – the kids were enthused to help Dad and their Dad seemed to be enjoying the time spent together. It took the artists a long time to finish their portion of the flood walls (I think at least two weeks for most of them). It’s certainly distinctive and worth seeing if you ever come to Richmond, Virginia.
To see how other photographers interpreted the word “scale”, click here.