(Regarding the Letter to the Editor, "Crescent City murals are pass, stagnant and hollow'," Nov. 24)
I had the pleasure of spending my Thanksgiving holiday in Crescent City and would like to reply to the letters regarding mural art. I live in the San Franscisco Bay area which is quite well known for having a wide variety of mural art. I have seen murals representing many different styles of painting. Some are abstract and somewhat edgy while others are more realistic. Many public schools mount mural art projects to teach and inspire young people. No matter the style or ability level of the artist, it's always a pleasure to turn a corner and see a colorful wall that would ordinarily be just a plain expanse of brick or cement.
I have seen the murals about which you write. I quite enjoyed them. Clearly they were a collaboration of citizens of varying skill levels that got together to create something more aesthetically pleasing than a blank wall. It communicates to an outsider that the people in this town care about what it looks like. If you ever drive down 101 to the Rohnert Park area there is anfrozen foodfactory with a copy of Van Gough's Starry Night painted on the plain cement wall facing the highway. It's the same kind of "art" as the mural next door to Wal-Mart. At least the people that made your murals were doing something to beautify your city. Any discussion of the merits of a piece of art are subjective in nature. Art exists to inspire, beautify, and lift us out of ordinary day to day existence. What I consider to be "good art" may to another person be "rubbish." It has been interesting to watch the rather predictable exchange of modern art versus more traditional aesthetic. While Mr. Norton resented and was apparently appalled at the NEA giving an award for the piece titled "Piss Jesus" in the 80s, that piece of art accomplished its goal. Mr. Norton still remembers and is still talking about it 25 years later. No doubt the art community had the same reaction to many of the impressionists that today we consider beautiful pieces of art.
As an outsider visiting your lovely seaside community I say bravo to all those who participated in the making of those murals. Keep up the good work. To Mr. Barry (who wrote Nov. 24th letter), I would offer the following advice: If you are so completely offended by these projects you have two choices.
1. Move to someplace that is more aesthetically pleasing.
2. Get involved with future municipal beatification projects. If you choose to do neither one, you have abdicated your right to sit back and complain.