Art has helped me to appreciate the value in a simple life made rich by intense observation. Part of my work in the visual arts has been to document and interpret small moments of drama in daily life: the weariness of the commuter, the loneliness of the snubbed child, the joy expressed in an unguarded moment of freedom. These emotions are universally understood and have a power to connect people that goes beyond their regional inspiration.
There are not that many opportunities for artists to make a big impact in their small corner of a very big pond, but I think that murals are one way to connect a community and help people appreciate the unique qualities in their town. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to create murals for eight public libraries, and for numerous New England communities. The scale of murals gives them a presence that reflects the importance of a city or particular neighborhood. That doesn’t mean that every mural has to have a happy face attached to it; some of the most powerful murals I’ve seen dealt with difficult and painful themes, but by representing these things with skill in a well-designed composition, the emotional effect is positive and speaks of the ability of people to persevere, overcome, and evolve with empathy.