Friday, May 11, 2012

I Painted the 34th Street Wall!

I wanted to do something a little crazy for my 32nd birthday.  Inspired by this month's issue of Juxtapoz (May 2012), I decided to paint my first ever street art mural.  This would become my first mural, my first public art, my first street art, and I knew the perfect place to do it.

You see, there's a special wall in Gainesville called the 34th St Wall; it's pretty famous around here, and even has a Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/34th_Street_Wall

The magic of the 34th St Wall is that painting it is accepted!  Graffiti, graduation announcements, fraternities, proposals, all kinds of painting are allowed on this wall!  It's an unwritten law in Gainesville that, in this spot, residents can express themselves without fear of punishment. 

While the majority of the paint on the wall (the layers are several inches thick) is in the form of congratulations, tagging, and other graffiti, I decided to paint a mural.  I started on May 2nd, the day after my birthday, and planned to work until May 3rd; two full days of painting!  But as most things go, I ended up taking four days in total to finish this project.


One reason it took four days is that I had no idea how exhausting it would be!  May is not necessarily the ideal month to paint outdoors in Florida.  And I learned on day one that the middle of the day was not a good time to paint.  The heat added to the exhaust of the continual traffic passing by...1:30PM-4:30PM was out.  So I got up as early as possible and set out to paint as much as I could by the time it got to be too hot.  Then, after a quick siesta, I would be back to paint until sundown.  Long days, but SO FUN!
I met some interesting people over those four days, including one professional and several amateur photographers who have made it their continuing project to record what is painted on the wall.  Others just stopped to look and make encouraging remarks.  Still others shouted from their cars or honked as they drove by...though not all the shouts were pleasant! :)

The entire experience was extremely rewarding and educational.  I had no idea what I was going to paint when I arrived, the whole mural was completely intuitive.  By the evening of the first day, I realized that we should be filming!  So we did.  Please enjoy the pictures and video below.


























Here's the sign I posted below the mural.  The wall being what it is, I know that my mural will soon be covered by taggers and others who want the space.  I thought maybe the signs would buy me some time :)  I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures and the video, and if you live in the Gainesville area, swing by and have a look! 

XOXO
Sarah

23 comments:

Leslie Rubio said...

Beautiful Sarah. I love it. I paint murals too...never outside though..mostly in kid's rooms, and on hospital walls in cancer wards...I donate them. Here is one I did for a neat guy (he has since passed away) but it was fun to do and rewarding. http://leslielovinlife.blogspot.com/search?q=Make+a+wish
Continue your love of art, and painting...murals and anything that inspires. xoxox...Leslie Rubio

Leslie Rosenberg said...

Go, Gators! Having graduated in 1980, I don't remember the wall being there, but did enjoy seeing it when visiting my son at UF. I was an art student at UF and would have loved painting on the wall. Thanks for painting on behalf of all of those who never had the chance to do it! Beautiful job!

Cynthia said...

Stupendous! Happy Birthday!

jonreneewebb@msn.com said...

I watched the youtube video. It was really cool watching the mural take shape during the video. You did a wonderful job. Thanks and Happy Birthday.

Deb Prewitt said...

What a fun way to celebrate your birthday. The mural is fabulous. I hope it stays that way for awhile so everyone can enjoy it.

Janny said...

Happy birthday and thnks for sharings its awesome;o)

loriidae said...

This is just so incredibly amazing. What a feat. Just lovely Sarah. Soul Hugs Janet

Arlene said...

OMG - what a wonderful project and a fabulous job you did. I love that it was totally intuitive and spontaneous. Thanks for sharing it all - photos and video. Very inspiring!

Its_Lily said...

Geez, I wish I lived there so I could go take pictures. It's a fun image...I think I'm presumptuous in sayin, "I'm proud of you!" But really, you wanted to do it and you did. How cool is that?

Mar said...

beautiful and FUN!


Mary

Karyl Howard said...

Spectacular! Thank you for painting it and for sharing it with those of us who are nowhere near Gainesville! Anyone who paints over it will not create anything as wonderful as this!

Tracie said...

Stunning! I love watching it evolve - so glad you thought to film!! I pray others will leave it be for a gooooooooood long while!

Introverted Art said...

This is amazing. I love the photos and the video is so inspiring. Lot's of amazing art and courage to tackle a new challenge. New fan!

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suzieq23 said...

WOW WOW WOW and the music fit so perfectly with the video. You are amazing!

robin dudley-howes said...

Wow! Amazing!

Sarah Whitmire said...

Thank you, thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on this post! I really appreciate your postive energy, feedback and comments. This mural was a huge stepping stone for me, and even though it got painted over within a week. (I was heartbroken) It feels so good and totally worth it that I got to share it with you. And I guess, in a small way it will now live on. :)

XO

Sarah

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You rock! Your murals looks spectacular. It will definitely catch attention of passers by. You go girl!

day spas Perth wa said...

Such a beautiful mural. Your hard work is truly appreciated. And all those time you have spent just painting those walls. Thank you.

Renee said...

Your mural was so incredible and beautiful! Thanks for sharing your art, at least with the photos and video it will be there forever in memories. Really extraordinary.

hanna montis said...

I love your murals. It is very interesting. Awesome work! Thanks for sharing your blog. God bless you.

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dandelion dreamer said...

totally awesome! I hope it is left uncovered for a very long time. M x

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