Linden Mural

Community: City of Linden
Population: 2,500-9,999

pftIn the summer of 2014, local artist and educator Gemma Amendola, along with Linden High School students, local businesses and community volunteers, came together to create a whimsical mural in historic downtown Linden. The mural was a collaborative effort between the city and the schools to bring art and culture to the community. The many contributions to this project have made the 22′ x 56′ mural a colorful focal point in the heart of the city. The mural depicts unique aspects of living in Linden and the State of Michigan, including images representing the lakes and water sports, orchards, the car industry, and plants and wildlife indigenous to the region. The central figure in the image is a teapot representing the friendliness and hospitality of local residents.


Replicability:

The Linden Mural would be easy to replicate in a community that has community members willing to contribute with their time and talents. The artistic portion of the mural is only a fraction of the project. Local businesses contributed by donated scaffolding and providing discounted paint supplies. Many community members helped pay for supplies and others donated food and drinks for the painters. The mural was designed by Gemma Amendola, then the students and community members helped draw and paint the images on the wall. Younger children were able to help with the lower areas, while taller high school students were recruited for the top portions that were difficult to reach. The whole community could participate by donating whatever time and gifts they had available to recreate this project in another community.

Creativity and Originality:

Our mural was uniquely created for the City of Linden in the hopes of inspiring people to take pride in what they do, in who they are, and to be generous with the gifts and talents they have been given. The artist hopes to have created a piece that reminds you to be grateful for this remarkable community, outstanding people, and astounding natural surroundings within it. The mural's many colorful elements fit together to proudly portray lovely Linden.The originality of this piece stems not only from the story the artist chosen to tell about the city and its past, but from the many contributors in the community that collaborated with the artist to create the final piece. The mural tells a story about the many beautiful aspects of Linden. The colorful person symbolizes all of the people in Linden. Its head, shaped as a tea pot, characterizes the hospitality and friendliness of its residents. The arms are embracing the town that they care for. The brush is painting the water representing the Shiawassee River and all the beautiful lakes in the area. There is a boat, a kayak, a fisherman, and a fish representing all the great water sports that one can enjoy. Music is expressed in the other arm holding an apple that portrays the exquisite orchards in the area. The teapot is pouring out snow which covers Linden for a large part of the year when everyone enjoys winter sports, including sledding on the sledding hill and building snowmen. The Jeans are a road for the various cars. The car industry plays a major role in shaping the community, from building the buggy all the way to the modern car. Ford, Chrysler, and GM are all included. On the right is a Linden tree with all the local Michigan birds. Below the tree is the iconic Linden Mills building and wheel. A small plane flies over the building representing Linden's quaint little airport. If you look closely you can see the word Linden in the spaces between the flowers on the shirt. All these colorful elements fit together to proudly portray various aspects of the delightful town of Linden.

Community Impact:

On May 18, 2007, a fire destroyed a historic block of businesses on Broad Street. The fire devastated many local residents and left the heart of our city empty. Linden has been slowly getting back on its feet, bringing in new businesses, and making improvements. The mural was a turning point for Linden that prompted a series of new ideas and projects in the community. The City has established the Linden Arts Council and organized several very successful Art Walks, and continues to bring students, business owners, and local artists together. The Linden Arts Council has plans to create future murals and is currently involved with the VFW to create a patriot wall for the Memorial Day Parade. The mural has given a spark to our City and encouraged community involvement by all.

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Project Multimedia:

Project PowerPoint - How to paint a mural Slideshow

 

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