Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Meet the face(s) of a movement

Posted By on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I learned something the other day: Scarves and sleek phones are not friends. I don’t mean “sleek” in the sophisticated way; I mean it in the slippery way. I mean that I was on the phone while wearing a scarf (I knit it myself, thanks), and my sleek phone slid right off my shoulder and shattered on the floor. As a result, the following blog has been reconstructed from memory, rather than from the interview that was recorded on said sleek, now defunct, phone.

In early September, Bobby Mikulas of New Life Church wrote a story for the Indy, describing the project he and friends have been working on called Dream Centers of Colorado Springs. Dream Centers focuses on taking care of the homeless of our city and, recently, they have also made it their mission to bring awareness to the members of this community through a widespread art project.

You may have noticed the enormous black-and-white portraits pasted on some edifices around town, including the City Rock building on Bijou, the Crissy Fowler building on Vermijo and the New Life building.

Their most recent project was to paste a portrait of a woman named Mama Susan on the steps of the Ivywild School. As you approach the walk-up, an image of a captivating and almost defiant face comes into focus. 
click to enlarge GRACIE RAMSDELL
  • Gracie Ramsdell

Last week, I visited Ivywild for a sit-down with Bobby, his wife Brooke, and barista/artist at the Principal’s Office, Tyler Hill

If you get close enough to the actual paper pasted on the steps, you can see that the portraits were printed and then carefully cut to fit. I’ve since visited Ivywild again and the strips are starting to peel, broken up by scuffling feet ascending the stairs. Part of what makes this art so special is that, after a while, it will eventually wash away — either by rain or plain wear and tear.
click to enlarge GRACIE RAMSDELL
  • Gracie Ramsdell
Bobby and Co. adhere the images onto their public canvasses with wheat paste, a mixture of flour, water and sugar frequently used by street artists, several recipes of which they had to try before finding the perfect mix. They make vats of the stuff, affixing large whisks to drills to attain maximum paste-spinning speeds.

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