Past and present in Beverly Gas & Tire mural

I’m a great admirer of artist Philip Coleman’s murals around the area, and I especially like the one he did on the side of the Beverly Gas & Tire building at near the intersection of Cabot and Rantoul Streets in Beverly. The subject matter appeals to me — I like diners, old cars and factory buildings. I also like the fact that it’s at a location by the railroad tracks that’s best described as utilitarian, quite a way up Cabot Street from the galleries and coffee shops near Montserrat College of Art, the Beverly Public Library and Beverly Common. The wall of the tire business, bordering a Rite-Aid parking lot, didn’t strike me as a great place for a mural, but the artist certainly knew exactly what would work here. Rather than ignoring the parking lot and just paint on the top half of the wall, he created a mural that works perfectly with the parked cars, incorporating them right into the picture.

Pasrt and present: Beverly Gas & Tires mural

Pasrt and present: Beverly Gas & Tires mural

Artist at Work

Artist Philip Coleman is currently working on a mural on the side of the Beverly Gas & Tire that provides a glimpse into the Gloucester Crossing neighborhood in the 1940s. Coleman, who has painted several other murals in Beverly, volunteered to paint the mural free of charge, using paint and supplies from Beverly Gas & Tire and a boom lift from Martin’s Construction Company. I love the 1940s theme, especially the old cars and service station, and the trompe-l’œil effect that looks like the past is always there below the surface, waiting to be revealed (because it is.)

Beverly Gas & Tire
383 Cabot Street
Beverly, Massachusetts

Artist recreates 1940s scene — Article from Wicked Local Salem

Artist Philip Coleman at Work

Gloucester Crossing Mural

Window into Summer

Window into Summer

In the summer, Philip Coleman’s Calle Casa mural blends so well into the Casa de Moda building and surroundings that the black posts were added to keep people from trying to drive down this street and crashing into the building. In the winter, seeing the man in his summer shorts and tee and people enjoying the fine weather at sidewalk tables is like a window into summer. Walking past this today, bundled up in the cold, it brought a smile to my face as I thought of summers past and summers yet to come!

Calle Casa — Summer photo of the mural showing how it fits in with the rest of the Casa de Moda building.

A New Mural in Downtown Beverly

Artist Philip Coleman has a new mural on the Pond Street side of Casa de Moda, a shop selling stationery, jewelry, gifts and accessories in Beverly, Massachusetts. Painted with the assistance of interns from nearby Montserrat College of Art, the mural, called Calle Casa, is a street scene that shows people walking, a couple sitting outside a cafe and a view of the harbor in the distance. It blends in with the Casa de Moda building, and intentionally includes barrier posts and a Do Not Enter sign to discourage drivers from crashing into the building. (The man and dog in the foreground should help, too!)

Casa Calle

Christmas Illustrations from the Internet Archive

I love the Internet Archive for its amazing collection of public domain books. It also includes lots of wonderful pictures that are somewhat lost because they’re scanned as part of books. I think of these images as being “trapped” in books, and every once in a while, I search around and liberate some by making a screenshot of just the image, doing a little minor editing mostly to correct the colors and posting them on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons, hoping to make them easier for people to find and use.

ChristmasThe process takes me just a few minutes once I’ve selected an image. The images that I am getting from the screenshots are small and they’re not high quality, but I think they’re useful enough for my purposes.

I especially like doing Christmas images, like this illustration by Katharine R. Wireman for The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins, published in 1889.
Christmas Illustrations from the Internet Archive — I haven’t done too many of these but I set up this board for them on Pinterest in the hopes of inspiring myself to do more

Olson Ferrini Mural

Day 70: March 10, 2012

“charles olson and vincent ferrini fire their poetry pistols in a duel at niles beach”

Erik Lomen’s mural depicts musician Willie Alexander’s dream of Gloucester poets Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini “shooting poems and words like bullets at one another on a beach.”

The mural also includes an outline of Gloucester Harbor between the poets, and a diagram of a letterpress machine that Vincent Ferrini donated to Montserrat College of Art.

The mural is located on 301 Cabot Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, by the delivery entrance on Charnock Street, facing the parking lot of the Beverly Animal Hospital.

See Olson Ferrini Mural on the artist’s website

Fruit Crate Labels from the Boston Public Library

Daisy Brand: Covina Orange Growers Assn., Covina, Calif.

Produce Crate Labels — The Boston Public Library has added some more great fruit crate labels from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s to their Flickr account.

There’s a lot of social and cultural history in these labels, and they’re also a study in marketing psychology. What kind of images do you think would sell fruit? Maybe those that evoke tradition, power and majesty, like this image of Queen Victoria with oranges, from the Victoria Avenue Citrus Association in Riverside, California. Or maybe the romance of the Scottish Highlands, like Tartan Brand lemons from the Corona Foothill Lemon Company, Corona. And then there are the patriotic images, like Golden Eagle oranges, the exotic ones, like Miracle Brand oranges, and cartoon labels, including an Up n’ Atom Brand carrots label featuring a Bugs Bunny lookalike.

Victoria Brand: Grown and packed on Arlington Heights by Victoria Avenue Citrus Association, Riverside, Riverside Co. Cal.Tartan Brand: Grown & packed by Corona Foothill Lemon Company, Corona, Riverside Co., CaliforniaGolden Eagle, an exclusive Chapman pack: Grown in U. S. A., grown and packed by Charles C. Chapman, Fullerton, Orange County, CaliforniaMiracle Brand: Bradford Bros. Inc., Placentia California, Orange County

RIP Michael Mazur, 1935 – 2009

In 1976, I went to the Brockton Art Center. I don’t remember what the specific occasion was, but my then-husband, a musician, was playing there that evening, and I remember being excited to go with him. We had a baby and I didn’t get out much at the time.

I wandered around alone looking at the exhibit, Michael Mazur, Visions of a Draughtsman and remember being struck by the dark, powerful prints and studies from his Closed Ward series. And when I say struck, I don’t mean I thought “oh, how interesting.” I mean I was dumbfounded, shocked, dismayed, fascinated. These prints and drawings were based on Mazur’s observations of patients when he volunteered at a state mental institution, as I had done at Worcester State Hospital when I was in high school. His works brought back the emotions I had felt there: fear, sorrow, helplessness and just a little pride for forcing myself to come back week after week and act like it didn’t bother me. Looking at the patients in Mazur’s prints, I experienced the same surprising sense of tenderness toward these fragile, vulnerable men and women, and felt myself torn between not wanting to look at them, but being unable to look away. I bought the exhibition catalogue that night, and and have looked through it many times through the years. I still see the sorrow but also the humanity in the patients whose images he captured.

Since that night, I have followed Michael Mazur’s career through books, articles and exhibits, feeling connected to him by what I rather illogically think of as our shared experience. Michael Mazur died on August 18, and though I never met him, he touched my life, and I’ll miss him.

    Denver’s Big Blue Bear

    Big Blue Bear: Colorado Convention Center, Denver

    The Democratic National Convention is about to open in Denver, and I feel like I have a role in the event…not politically, but artistically.

    A couple of years ago, I was at a conference in Denver, and I stepped outside between meetings and took a couple of photographs of “I See What You Mean,” Lawrence Argent’s sculpture of a big blue bear that peers through the window of the Convention Center. Not great photographs — I was rather disappointed at the time that the blue came out looking darker and duller than it really is. But I posted them on Flickr anyway. Good librarian that I am, I included the name of the artist and the sculpture in my description, with a link to the Denver city government’s page describing the work.
    » Read more

    New Flickr Group: Bela Lyon Pratt

    Art Sculpture at Boston Public LibraryI’ve started a new Flickr group for photographs of the work of American sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt, 1867-1917.

    Pratt’s best-known works include the statues of Art and Science outside the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, the statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne in Salem, Massachusetts, and the statue of Edward Everett Hale in the Boston Public Garden.

    Bela Lyon Pratt — Here’s the link to the Flickr group

    Here’s a slideshow of photos from the group:

    Bela Lyon Pratt Links

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