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Taking Art to the People
“Town and Country”
Our new mural is titled Town and Country and is based on a work by Thomas Hart Benton (as was our earlier mural Agriculture). The original piece by Benton that our mural was based on is at right (click on the image for a zoom of it). The mural's dimensions are 92" by 122". The medium is acrylic on newspaper and cereal boxes. It was completed in November, 2005.
(click to zoom)
by Thomas Hart Benton
The Participants:

I set up this mural with the knowledge I wouldn’t be doing any actual painting on it. I started classes at Sonoma State in GIS. My time was completely taken up between my job, school and homework. Trevor and a new player Scott Tucker would do the painting. Trevor and I went through a variety of images. We had been having good luck with early and mid 20th century American painters. We went with Thomas Hart Benton. We called the mural Town and Country. I set up the chart and the colors. (See the Grant Wood example on the “Vallejo Jazz Festival” page) The three of us went over it and then my involvement was consigned to making comments as my schedule allowed. My interest is the demonstration that my system can be carried out at varying levels of involvement as a full participating painter or as an orchestrator and arranger much like what happens in music. –Pete
Invariably, the mural iconography falls within the realm of art history. The collaborative process ensures that participants don’t get overly caught up in their own egos, and learn to work systematically and cooperatively.
      Doing the murals on newspaper symbolizes sustainability through the reuse of discarded material. It illustrates how different types of imagery can be synthesized to bring unity and coherence out of discrepancy.
      Can this suggest ways to bring unity out of discrepant landscape demands? “Town and Country” is not only a modern interpretation of a 20th century master (Thomas Hart Benton), but specifically calls attention to the issue of urban and rural interaction. –Trevor

The less said about art, the better. –Scott

Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889–1975, American regionalist painter, b. Neosho, Mo.; grandnephew of Sen. Thomas Hart Benton and son of Congressman Maecenas E. Benton. In 1906 and 1907 he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and at 19 went to Paris, where he remained five years. On his return to the United States, he designed movie sets, managed an art gallery, and continued to paint. The best-known American muralist of the 1930s and early 40s, he executed murals for the New School of Social Research (later sold) and the Whitney Museum, both in New York City; the Missouri statehouse, Jefferson City, Mo.; and the Postal Service and Dept. of Justice buildings, Washington, D.C. He is noted for his dramatization of American themes. His style is graphic, strong in color, repetitious and insistent in the use of rhythmic line. A 1943 painting, "July Hay," hangs in the Metropolitan Museum. Benton taught painting at several colleges and art schools, but most notably was Jackson Pollock's teacher before Pollock made it big.

The Mural – click for zooms
‘Town and Country’ - by Pete Hubbard, Trevor Burrowes, and Scott Tucker

This view showing Pete and Scott standing in front of the mural conveys the size of the mural at a glance. The location is the same as where the Leger mural was before (it lasted a full year, the longest any of the murals had lasted). This impermanance is seen as an element of the art that these murals are about, so doesn't bother the artists all that much.
(click for zooms)

Detail Blow-ups — Click for Zooms and Super-Zooms

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