Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Mendoza’

Once again, the Christian Science Monitor comes up with a story about a person creating positive change in the world.

Jessica Mendoza writes, “Behind a low, unobtrusive brick building [in Boston’s inner city] is a lush, green forest. Brown and silver-gray trees cover the building’s wall, their leafy canopies blocking the sky. Sun-dappled stones sit on tangles of grass. A boy perches on the largest rock, gazing at a distant meadow.

“On the wall’s lower left corner, the word ‘Love’ appears in bright green; opposite is the word in Spanish, ‘Amor,’ in vibrant red.

“The forest is a mural, and even in the dead of winter the 18-by-85-foot painting gives a sense of beauty, warmth, and life – qualities that artist Alex Cook tries to convey in all his work.

“ ‘Art was always a deeply spiritual thing, the most real thing in my life,’ Mr. Cook says. ‘You want to share that kind of feeling.’ …

“An artist for most of his life, Cook has painted on walls all over the United States and has even packed his brushes to travel to and paint in Kenya, Nigeria, and most recently Panajachel, Guatemala. …

“The project began in the fall of 2013 when Cook was performing in New Orleans. There he met Amy Hoyle, then a principal at a local elementary school. Ms. Hoyle was looking for new ways to engage her students and invited Cook to paint a mural on campus, based on the motto of Woodland West Elementary School: ‘Stay curious.’

“Cook delivered, painting two huge faces side by side in a strange, beautiful picture that prompted more questions than answers.

“But he did more than that. Touched by the students, many of whom were poor and had difficult home lives, Cook decided to paint something that would remind them every day of how special they were. The result was a hallway filled with a palette of colors and messages telling all who passed by that they were beautiful, needed, important, and loved. “It’s like walking through a warm hug,” Hoyle says.

Read how Cook made his projects increasingly collaborative, inspiring people from all walks of life (here).

Photo: Ann Hermes
Alex Cook stands in front of one of his large murals, an 18-by-85-foot depiction of a forest in Boston.

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