It was a privilege to have such a talented artist as Mallory design a unique and beautiful piece of mural art for my building. She was committed to working with me to come up with a design I would love and even incorporated some sentimental elements into it for me. The work was completed in a professional and timely manner. Her work is clean and beautiful. I welcome you to stop by and check it out for yourself, it is even better in person!
I had been dreaming about painting a mural on the cute little violet building that houses Blossom’s Antiques for nearly a year already when I finally reached out to the building’s owner and businesswoman, Blossom. North Monroe Business District was incentivizing murals along the corridor and I figured my chances of painting that purple wall had never been higher. It turned out that the timing was perfect, and Blossom and I began planning for a 10 x 10’ Art Nouveau-style mural that would be timeless whatever kind of business her building may house in the future. I have always loved Art Nouveau and bought more than a few Mucha calendars in my younger years (some with gold glitter embellishments even), but I also wanted to make sure that the mural had meaning and symbolism, at least to me, and that it didn’t just feature a pretty woman as a prop. Blossom didn’t want it to contain any blatant political or a social statements, and I am very happy that the resulting design pleased us both. She also wanted the woman depicted to resemble her at least loosely, and I incorporated her two children’s profiles subtly into the lilac blossoms for a personal touch.
Something I have been grappling with for awhile as an artist, and just generally, is what it means to be white in America. Coming to terms with my own privilege and how I have benefitted from and contributed to institutionalized racism has caused me to question how best to contribute my art to a society that is already arguably too full of white voices. This mural was painted in October 2020, and the woman in the painting is contemplating a flurry of ideas, emotions, and her new knowledge of old injustices, just as many of my friends and I have been doing in recent years and especially now. She is unsmiling. She is at the start of her journey, the maiden, springtime, and thus arriving late to the fight. I utilized flower symbolism as a key element in the design. Her bouquet is made up of black-eyed Susans, marigolds, and summer snowflakes, which symbolize justice, grief, and hope. At the top are flos adonis for “painful recollections.” In the foreground along the bottom are lilacs, which represent change and humility, the dark purple lilacs also symbolize mourning and remembering somber anniversaries. Lilacs, of course, also represent Spokane, the Lilac City, though the flower is not native here. It was brought to North America by European colonizers in the 1750s. The woman is also wearing emeralds, which are a symbol of truth, hope, and love. This is a hopeful mural, a call to grow and “blossom” with new awareness and hopefully help to build a “more perfect” equitable society.
Posted by Mallory on November 14, 2020