Thursday, December 3, 2009
There's a community art project in my neighborhood - The Wall of Welcome. It's a huge mosaic project put together by local artist Jean Graham. The wall is in the Crestview/Brentwood neighborhood of Austin TX and it shelters the parking lot of the neighborhood business district - the sort of "main street" area you find in a lot of older neighbors in big cities. The little cluster of shops includes a crappy IGA grocery store, an old school barber shop, a pharmacy, and The Little Deli.
The main part of the wall is one large mosaic that depicts some of the history and local lore of the neighborhood. All along the top of the main mosaic and one end of the wall are smaller tiles that were created by community participants. Some were created by local businesses, some by neighbors and residences, and there is one from the elementary school and the fire house.
I first saw the wall long before I lived in the neighborhood when my book group took a little walking field trip to look at the wall while it was in progress.
When I decided to move to this neighborhood and was shopping for a house here, my Dad came to visit from MN. I took him to the wall to show him where I intended to live.
The wall is finished now, has been for a little while I think. I pass the wall frequently on my bike and when I run. I love the wall. It has always made me feel, well, welcome!
Last weekend I walked down to the wall with one of the dogs to take pictures. I thought I should photograph the wall before I leave Texas. It is one of the things I will miss in Austin.