Photo Illustration by Kristy Heilenday and Mike Freeman
I'm writing today to ask for a second chance. Last year, when my ideas for the Richmond Mural Project were rejected, I handled it badly.
As you are probably aware, I went forward (without your blessing) on several independent mural projects. It only took one unfortunate Volvo incident to help me realize that a fake parking garage entrance was a poor choice for the side of the Greater Richmond Convention Center. And my hopes that a two-story crossword puzzle in the Fan would give young graffiti enthusiasts something to challenge them intellectually were dashed the very next morning, upon discovering that a single four-letter word had been used (incorrectly) to solve all of the clues.
I can honestly admit that last year, I was blinded by artistic idealism. This year, I assure you that my mural proposals are focused on adding positive value to the community.
1. Let There Be Animals I would like to depict two of every animal along the flood wall. We could call it "The Great Flood Wall." This would likely take more than a week to paint. My cousin is pretty good at drawing birds, so as long as I can count on his help, 40 days and nights should do it.
2. Cool with a Capitol C Besides adding a 40-foot-tall Doug Wilder-in-battle-armor to every column of the State Capitol building, on the pediment I'd go with one of those "Magic Eye" mosaics using corporate logos. If you stand on the lawn and squint just right, you'll see this really cool 3-D image of Thomas Jefferson riding a "Sic Semper Tyrannosaurus Rex."
3. Peaceful Prime Directive Paint life-size, photo-realistic RoboCops on every corner of the city's crime-problem areas. Maybe once in a while it will remind mischief-makers what a cool movie the original was and give them the idea that they should go home and watch it instead of doing crime.
Thank you for your time. Together we will transform the visual landscape, revitalize historic buildings and distinguish ourselves as the kind of place where you can find a 50-foot-tall, blue-haired naked lady lounging in a strawberry-jam jacuzzi.