Busiest. Month. Ever. / by EricOkdeh

Its pretty hard to believe that its been more than a month since Ive updated this thing, especially considering all of the posts I could have made about mural events and related craziness.

I'm almost at the end of one of the busiest craziest months ever. All month long I have been hard at work with Michelle Ortiz and Kien Nguyen on our "This We Believe" citywide Mural design. I cant really post much on this yet as we are still in competition. The designs will be presented to the press on the 30th and the online voting happens between May 4th-18th. I personally have never put so much work into one of my designs before, its enormously detailed, and Im very proud of the sheer scope of it.

Here's a fun fact: The Photoshop file of the design is almost an entire gigabyte in size, and takes a full 15 minutes to save!

In the coming weeks look for a full description of the design complete with photos and details.

Right after our preliminary design review on April 8th, I drove straight to 52nd and Master to the site of my "From Behind The Mask" mural. The next week would be spent finally installing the mask, checking for air bubbles, and sealing the mural. I worked with a different team for the installation: Joseph Verdi and Matt Dougherty of Nicholas Della Vecchia Construction. Joe and Matt were on hand to make sure the mask was properly installed to the wall. I was confident in my plans, but because the sculpture would be hung 20 feet high over a parking lot I wanted to make sure the installation was tight. Joe and Matt were great to work with, and the mask was up without incident in 2 days. Here is a slideshow of the final mural.

With the mural finally finished it was a race to wrap up the content of two Flash based webpages I was working on for the "Visual Restoration" Exhibit. The pages consist of the murals themselves, you can click on any area of the mural to get more photos and information of the particular section.

Here are the links to the sites, please note the button on the bottom right which expands each page to fullscreen.

Greenfield Year One: Restoration

Greenfield Year Two: From Behind the Mask

Each computer in the Eakins House Lab were set to the sites, and people were given a sheet of questions to research and answer. Those with the most answers correct were entered in a drawing to win tickets to this year's Wall Ball.

The companion book to the projects, Visual Restoration by Phoebe Zinman was officially released that night as well. Phoebe did a great job of covering both years, and all of the photography, writing, painting, and events that went with them.

The show had a decent turn out opening night, it should be up for another month.

This past Sunday was the dedication in West Philly for From Behind the Mask. A lot of people in the neighborhood came out, it was a good time hosted by the Bibleway Baptist Church.
Pics will be up as soon as I can get them.

Now that these big events are over, I have to spend the remainder of the month finalizing the Citywide design, and finishing up the Anthropologie Mural with my Corps students.
We've been feverishly painting throughout the month to try and get this done. Next week is our last week to work, then Kien and I will take the Mural to NYC for installation. The opening will be on the morning of May 6th. Our classes will have to board the chartered bus at 6am.

On the night of May 6th, I will sleep the sleep of ages.