BEYOND WORDS – A MURAL AT PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY

BEYOND WORDS – A MURAL AT PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY
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Not just a mural, but an adventure!

The Prescott Public Library mural “Beyond Words” began in January 2008 and took place throughout the summer of 2009. It is located at the South entrance of the library and celebrates the passage of free knowledge to the public.

Over the course of the project, the community was drawn into the “mural process,” a democratic method of placing public art. On the journey from conception to completion, the community has taken part in shaping the vision and content of the mural.The mural process takes a little extra time, but the result is art of enduring value and a landmark reflecting our heritage and community spirit.

Thank you to the 800 Prescott folk who dedicated their time to placing the “Beyond Words” mural in downtown Prescott.

 

Fishing for Feedback

THE MURAL PROCESS

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A public survey Began in January and ran through the end of April 2008. The survey asked some very personal questions about the role libraries play in our daily lives.

 It was our intention to conduct a mural project that complimented the mission of the Library by creating a community focal point for the discovery of art and ideas.

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The Questions

1. Public libraries are guardians of our rights and liberties. Described as the “peoples university,” a library serves as a resource for citizens in a free democracy.Why are libraries so important to humans/ community/ society/ democracy/ country?

2. What can libraries do to safeguard a free society?

3. What does free thought, free speech, and free press mean to you?

4. When we walk though the doors of a library we are exposed to the spectrum of human knowledge and opinions. What are your thoughts about the “marketplace of ideas”? What ideas have influenced you? Have any ideas, artists, thinkers, local or global sculpted your way of life or that of entire cultures?

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The Think Tanks took place once a week in the Althea Room at Prescott Public Library. Nearly 25 helpful mice appeared at one meeting which included Mayor Jack Wilson. Extremely long lists were compiled as participants were encouraged to shout out an unfiltered stream of ideas to the mice writing on the board. Mind Mazes were made to help us connect the important ideas into a formula for the designing phase.

 

Research and Development
 

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Research took place in February and March 2008.

Civic minded mice along with Library Director Toni Kaus and Friends of the Library Chairman John Dansforth pitched in to review the survey entries. They would discuss the brainstorm material and propose new ideas for the mural. Each mouse chose a list of interesting subjects to research at home. The group would meet once a week to preview one anothers research.,

There were many exciting discoveries made about the world we live in.

 

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Front left to right- Katie Nelson, R.E. Wall, and Margaret Dewar. Rear left to right- Dana Cohn, Tom Von Deck, Jeri Smith Fornara, Mary Schulte, and Al Robinson.

Hardy, headstrong, and true to the cause. These are someof the Mighty Mice who stuck it out through a dozen meetings and left us with a 7 inch stack of research for the best of all murals to be placed at the library.

 

 

Designing

Maggie and R worked furiously on the Mural beyond Words designs.

Two designs would be placed on display, but only one design would win the election.

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Once a week for one month, the Mice designed the mural at the entrance of the library. This allowed them to show the latest designs and to harvest suggestions from the community.

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The designs were colored late at night on the big tables at Denny’s

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Mural Election

 The PPL Mural election took place from July 2nd-12th, 2008

The community had the choice between two designs. Both designs contained roughly the same information with variations on how to tell the story.  Both designs contained two dozen relatively obscure heroes who have contributed to the Prescott legacy.

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During the 10 day election, nearly 250 people contributed to the final decision.

The poles were taken to City Hall where the City Council cast their votes for their favorite design.

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Mouse Hatter Tea Party and Wall Blessing
 

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Painting the mural “Beyond Words”; Chapter One Part 1

The first painting days at PPL

Wall Prep and outlines prepare the 1000 square foot canvas

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Project directors R.E. Wall and Margaret dewar

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First Painting day; July 24th, 2008

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Kevin and Karli Simmons set off on a history lesson

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Mural Mice To The rescue!

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The Sugar Shaman came out to lend a hand and some color

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The Girl Scouts came in too!

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Lets hear it for the Girl Scouts of Prescott!

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Dedicated!

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Painting took place on some very warm afternoons in August

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Dana Cohn places his first contribution to the murals “Annie’ the Mt. Lion

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Maggies Dragon

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Mural Mice Knights

Summer 2008

Go to part 2

 

Placing the Mosaic Maiden

The Mosaic Maiden

Began September 13th, 2008

 

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One way to purify a thing is by fire.

Fire is a symbol for wisdom and it is a great teacher.

 

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Another way to purify is by water. Everyone drinks water. We clean ourselves with it and need it for medicine. Living in a desert, we depend on water to live. Water is also a symbol for knowledge.

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The Bible says that those who drink from the Water of Life will never die. By this is meant that just as the physical draws from material water, the soul draws from the spiritual water, which is knowledge.

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In the mosaic, there will be a woman holding a bowl of fire in one hand and a bowl of water in the other. She is pouring them both out into Prescott. When complete, she will brandish a golden halo over her head and rainbow colored ribbons in her hair.

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These rainbow colors represent the many spectrum paths that lead to reality. They are the rainbow bridge tied loosely into a bow.

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She is the maidservant who delivers these offerings.

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She is the whirling rainbow woman of Native American teachings.

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She is the storyteller and teacher.

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She is the library…

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and she is you and I.

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Mouster Artist Mary Schulte

Mosaic Mice;

Jacqueline Herst, Marcia Mallicoat, Sharon Schulte

Wall Prep and Assist; Chris Brashear, Jack Law, Grasshopper,

R.E. Wall, Margaret Dewar, Wendy Linderholm, Kate Boswell,

Josh, Cathi Johnson

Glass work; Cindy Shaffer

 

Painting the mural “Beyond Words”; Chapter One Part 2
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Mother and daughter team Maxine Dillahunty and Deanna Hendrickson of the Victorian Society lent a hand to the project. They put together some fine dresses for a photo shoot where they posed as Pauline O’neil and Francis Munds.These two figures played important roles in the women suffrage movement and are joined by fellow suffragettes Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, and Alice Paul in the mural.

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Project directors put out the word that they were seeking models for the mural. This scene involved notable heritage Heroes; Fran Wildman, Ed Abbey, Fay Ward, Zola Crosby, and Zain Grey.

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Dana Cohn, Jan the animal Angel, Charles Howe, Carlos Bassetti, and Dino Palazzi stepped up to help us tell the tale.

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Charley, Dino Palazzi, and Dana Cohn pose as Yavapai Indians Carlos Montezuma, Mike Burns, and Sam Jimulla. Below, Jeff Cedro will forever be known as the “Town Crier of the Whiskey Row Fire.”

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Go to part 3

 

Painting the mural “Beyond Words”; Chapter One Part 3
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Theres nothing more bland than a big blank canvas.

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Three painters and one mosaic artist participated in the construction of the “Mural Beyond Words.” R.E. Wall, Margaret dewar, and Dana Cohn worked through the summer, fall and even some of winter to bring the design to life.

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Dana Cohn saw to executing the eastern portion of Chapter one. These are some of the rough drafts before they evolved to their current form.

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kathy Gibbons of Mountain Artists Guild joined in to help with portraits.

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We Hope that you enjoy our Prescott homegrown art at Prescott Public Library.

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BEYOND WORDS CHAPTER 2

MAY 23rd, 2009 marked the begining of the final phase of the Mural Beyond Words at Prescott Public Library. An estimated 70 volunteers came out to spread a little love and color on the last remaining 40 foot of wall.

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Murals allow folks from all walks of life to create art as a community!

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It was nice to see entire families come out to paint together!

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It was also a great opportunity for neighbors to get to know one another.

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SQUEAK!

Special thanks to all the friends who came out in support of the project

and to Edda’s Pizza and Bill’s Pizza for providing the yummy mouse power!

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Thank you MICE for your steadfast might!

 

MURAL DEDICATION PREPARATION
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MAGGIE MOUSE SHOWS THE SCRIPT TO SOME INTERESTED FOLK

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SOME MICE REHEARSE A SCENE FOR THE UPCOMING PLAY

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THE HISTORIC ELKS THEATER STAGE FINDS A NEW HOME

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CARPENTER CREW; ADRIAN ADAMS, R.E. WALL, AND NAVAJO CHARLEY

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THE STAGE WAS BARELY 5 MINUTES UP BEFORE IT WAS INFESTED WITH MICE

 

 

FINAL DEDICATION

THE MURAL “BEYOND WORDS” WAS DEDICATED ON SEPTEMBER 26TH 2009

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THE EVENT WAS PRECEEDED BY A DAY OF MURAL MICE PLAYS

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AND FEATURED A FANTASTIC SET OF AUDIENCES

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MARGARET DEWAR DIRECTED A CAST OF 30 MURAL MICE

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AND A DOZEN PUPPETEERS ASSISTED BACK STAGE WITH THE MAGIC

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OFF THE WALL THEATER PRESENTS CHARACTERS WHICH STEP

OUT OF THE MURAL AND TELL THE STORY!

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HERE THE MOSAIC MAIDEN AND FRIENDS WARM UP OUR AUDIENCE

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OUR HERO ARROW TAKES A LESSON FROM A SHAMAN STORYTELLER

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ARROWS JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A STOP AT THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS

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MR. KNOWITALL GIVES HER A TIP ABOUT HOW THE WORLD REALLY WORKS

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SOME WORLD PHILOSOPHERS GIVE HER A DIFFERENT LESSON

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ARROW CONTINUES ONLY TO FALL INTO  DEEP DESPAIR AND CONFUSION

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SHE IS REVIVED WITH NEW DIRECTION BY THE MOSAIC MAIDEN

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LOCAL TIMELINE ARTIST AND TIME TRAVELER HISTORIAN FRAN WILDMAN

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A YOUNG SHARLOT HALL LENDS A POEM FROM HER TRAVEL JOURNAL

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YAVAPAI PEOPLE MAKE THEIR WAY WITH LITTLE MENTION FROM HISTORIANS

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THE DESERT UNDERGROUND OFFER SUPPORT VIA THE STINKY CHEESE RESISTANCE

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A LOCAL MOUNTAIN LION (JOHNNY SOLID) GUARDS THE DRAGONS CAVE

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WOMENS SUFFRAGETTES STATE THEIR CASE FOR A LITERATE PRESCOTT

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TROUBLES BREWING WITH THE GOOD OL’ BOYS

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WILDMAN AND A YOUND EDWARD ABBEY CONTEMPLATE THE ARIZONA TERRITORY

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THE DRAGON (TAMELA) COMETH

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AND SETS WHISKEY ROW AFLAME

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PRESCOTT RECIEVES A NEW LIBRARY AND ARROW GOES HOME TO TELL THE STORY

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THE CAST:

MADELINE (HEAD MOUSE), JOHNNY SOLID (MOUNTAIN LION, & NATIVE AMERICAN), PALOMA ROBINSON (BOOKMAKER, SOLDIER), TANIA ROBINSON (POLITICIAN & CUSTOMER), SAM ADAMS (MOSAIC MAIDEN), KYRENE CARITA (MOUSE, CHILD, & WANDPERSON), TAYLOUR (MR. KNOWITALL’S ASSISTANT), PAM O’DONALD (CHINESE PHILOSOPHER, LIBRARIAN, AND SUFFRAGETTE), KELLY SHATTUCK (BEN FRANKLIN), RANDOM TEMPLE (EDWARD ABBEY & GREEK PHILOSOPHER), JEFF CEDRO (NEWSPAPER BOY, CHILD, RIBBON TWIRLER, & INVENTOR), SOPHIE BORGUM (COWBOY & ASTRONOMER), ZOE CAHILL (SHARLOT HALL, SUFFRAGETTE, & CROWD PERSON), AKIAH O’DONALD (ASSISTANT, MOUSE, AND CHILD), TOM VON DECK (MINER & SPANISH EXPLORER), WELLS VAIANA (FRAN WILDMAN THE TIME TRAVELER), MAYA RAIN (ARROW), RAEFE BILOW (MR. KNOWITALL & SHARIFF), BRANDON (KID), SOLEECE WHITLATCH (KID), CORY BRUNNER (SUGAR SHAMAN), JASMIN, LORI, DEVON,ALIYAH GOODMAN, SAGE AND SKY FAZEKA  (TWITTER BUGS)

THE FORMAL DEDICATION

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