Saturday, July 29, 2017

Inspiration Mural stairwell.

Michael Pilato from Philadelphia and Yuri Karabash from the Ukraine used the second floor studio space above Anthony's Pizza as a place to paint the first mural devoted to the 49 victims of the Pulse tragedy. Chimene Pindar Hurst arranged for home school students to paint a mural up the narrow staircase leading to the studio. Susan Gromala Crary, an artist who has done murals on Disney property, volunteered to get the kids started on the project.

She had each student do small thumbnail sketches of ideas they wanted included in the mural. Since social media like twitter and Facebook are so important to the kids, she found that the power of words had to be incorporated. Ultimately large flowers were painted with 49 heart shaped pedals. A rainbow exploded it's bright colors up the steps. Then words were incorporated like inspire, and positive.

Any creative endeavor has its setbacks and happy accidents. While painting a large section of the rainbow, a cup of bright yellow paint spilled on the steps. Rather than getting upset about the spill, Susan encouraged the kids to incorporate the yellow into the overall design and concept. Each student dipped their hand in the puddle and hand prints were placed on each step. A videographer recorded the afternoon of creative working and singing. Each painter had their own technique which Susan encouraged. One girl used tiny strokes with a tiny brush to fill in sections of the mural. She persisted and completed the work. In the end that is what matters most, something new and unexpected was created.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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