It’s no bad thing to have a client who is an art patron. And it’s an even better thing when that client, a real estate developer, is a huge supporter of Art in Public Places (#AIPP) and willing to budget for the creation of art as a way to improve the community in which construction takes place.
That said, you’d like to have the artwork depict some subtle tie-in to the project, even though Art in Public Places is pretty strict about there being no commercial aspect to the projects it approves. The client, Ram Realty Services, decided that we would conduct a Call to Artists with the prompt that the 7,000 square foot mural would honor Alexander Graham Bell and communication, since the historic structure was once the regional headquarters for Southern Bell, and the converted residential units will be known as Alexander Lofts.
After a lengthy vetting process that included representatives of Ram Realty Services, Alchemy, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, it was decided we would work with Los Angeles-based Tristan Eaton, an internationally known street artist and designer whose work can be seen in galleries around the world and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.
For another perspective on the scale of this project, this is Tristan painting Alexander Graham Bell’s eye:
Eaton is renowned for creating large-scale murals in urban landscapes (NYC, Detroit, LA, Cleveland), and is an art consultant to major brands such as Fisher Price, Nike, and Disney. It took him and his two assistants over 600 cans of spray paint and a total of 12 days to conquer the wall:
While there is no commercial aspect to the final artwork that in any way promotes Alexander Lofts, the prominence of the huge mural makes the building a landmark in Downtown West Palm Beach, and generated a tremendous amount of media coverage. And it doesn’t hurt that the enormous mural and the name of the building both pay homage to Alexander Graham Bell – subtle, but present.
The finished mural: