“Talking Walls: Murals Now” Panel Discussion

On September 21, 2012, the Piedmont Council for the Arts co-sponsored “Talking Walls: Murals Now”, a panel discussion about murals. The event was presented in conjunction with the Piedmont Environmental Council’s September fundraising exhibition “Painters of the Piedmont” at Chroma Projects.

The panel talk featured accomplished muralists Lincoln Perry, Craig McPherson, William Woodward (PEC guest curator for “Painters of the Piedmont”), and Ross McDermott of the Charlottesville Mural Project (CMP) speaking of the inspiration, protocols, obstacles, technical processes and the meaningful impact of mural painting in public spaces.

Charlottesville is particularly familiar with Lincoln Perry for his soft hued paintings of figures in enigmatic circumstances, and most recently for his epic mural, “The Students Progress,” a visual treatise on academic life that encompasses much of the lobby of Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia. Perry also was commissioned to execute a large mural for the lobby of the Met Life building in St. Louis, MO.

Craig McPherson spent almost seven years creating one of the most ambitious sequential mural projects in New York City. Commissioned by the American Express Company, McPherson’s two mural cycles, “Twilight: The Waterways and Bridges of Manhattan” and “Harbors of the World” were both displayed in American Express’s corporate headquarters at the World Financial Center, which miraculously survived the 9/11 tragedy.

William Woodward is recognized for many significant commissions, including a mural at the Lincoln National Monument in Washington, D.C. Woodward has several decades of experience in creating narrative realism. His most recent commission is the mural, “Thomas Jefferson at Monticello” in the new Visitors’ Center.

Ross McDermott is the Director of the CMP. Launched in 2011 as a program of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, past murals organized by the CMP include local photographer Will Kerner’s portraits of people affected by mountain top removal at the corner of Water and Second Streets, “Hands Together,” a mural by Avery Lawrence at the IX Project, and a mural on The Bridge PAI by Australian artist Reko Rennie and American artist Frank Buffalo Hyde in partnership with the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection.