By Kathy Rowe
Artists and residents have worked together over the past four weekends to create water-themed images on the pathways at the Port Union Village Commons. This unique installation, called Watermarked, is a little different from the average mural.
In addition to regular paint, some of the images are applied with a special rain-activated paint/sealant called Rainworks. When it rains, the designs come fully to life and the painted images spread before the viewer like a carpet on the concrete.
Several artists were involved in the project and each interpreted the water theme in his or her own way. Artist Desire Betty created an “octopus lady” to illustrate how clean water is “essential to our wellbeing, sustenance and nourishment”.
“Without water, this will look like an octopus lady who is in a drought,” she explained. “When the rain hits the pavement, waves will emerge to show that, with water, she will thrive. This gives the message that without water, we are nothing.”
Marta Keller-Hernandez, executive director of Mural Routes, said her group offered stencilling workshops for community members on a drop-by basis. With the help of an artist, the stencil designs were added to the mural along the pathways.
The project will be complete by Saturday September 3 and a special unveiling will take place on September 4. “At the unveiling we are hoping to water all of the areas and reveal what can’t be seen,” explained Keller-Hernandez. She hopes this experimental and temporary art exhibit will inspire community residents to think about their connections to water.
If you haven’t seen Watermarked, you are encouraged to visit the park before too long. Watermarked will be visible until November at which time the images will fade away.