Here’s how Overunder describes the impetus for the project:
The Painted Desert Project began as Jetsonorama, aka Chip Thomas pasted one of his photographs on an abandoned roadside stand only to return months down the road and see the very same stand now open for business. Amazed, he pulled over and chatted with the folks only to learn that their impetus to re-open was based on seeing tourists stop to take photos of the art work. They figured it was the best captive audience they’d seen in years and the only thing to make it better was if there was another one for traffic going the opposite direction. Unabashadly Chip let them know about his altar ego Jetsonorama and the cogs started turning.
Before the paste could dry Chip and fellow street artist Yote had a plan to bring some of their favorite artist to the Painted Desert to paint run-down stands in an attempt to rejuvenate the life of those in need of business and as Chip states, “explore how this might build community.”
Overunder has more about his part in the project on his blog.
We hoped to connect artists with vendors working along the roadside in homemade structures where food and jewelery are sold. We attempted to familiarize artists with the culture before they started painting. Because of the location of this project where large walls are few, the emphasis was on establishing a connection with the community. Both Tom Greyeyes and Breeze are Native American and came to the project already sensitized. We’d hoped to get more local youth involved in working with the artists but will have to pursue this with future iterations of the project.
As much as I enjoy the mural projects going on around the world right now, things like The Painted Desert Project are fantastic low-key but potentially impactful counterpoints to the hype and huge walls that seem to accompany more urban festivals.
Jetsonorama is a talented photographer who took some spectacular photos of the artists at work and of the finished walls and signs, so it’s going to take more than one post to show everything. After the jump, we’ll start with work by Labrona, Breeze and Overunder… Continue reading “The Painted Desert Project – round 1, post 1”