Jim Evangelista’s mural “Tuscany” is right outside my office window, which means I see how frequently people pose in front of it while a friend takes a photo. It happens daily. So I’m continually prompted to think: Why is that painting so engaging?
I think it’s that people don’t merely look at it. They participate with it. Each person can complete this tantalizing picture in his or her own way – maybe by fantasizing for a second that they could take a step and find themselves in Italy leading a far more romantic life than the one they are currently mucking their way through. (Or maybe that’s just me.)
Art for our sake
But I think this is what makes public art really work. It is “public” not because it’s there for all to see, but because it interacts with its surroundings and invites people in.
Here are some photos we’ve taken using the mural, and some shots of the goings on that we witness, as well a quick video of two young fellows having fun with “Tuscany” during Friday’s snowfall.
Have you ever taken a photo of yourself or someone else in front of “Tuscany”? Send it to us. Maybe we can compile a montage of photos to share.
By the way, the artist, Jim Evangelista, is the force behind the nonprofit Reality Kitchen, which helps people transition from school to adult life, especially those with developmental disabilities. So if you ever have the urge to thank him for the gift of “Tuscany,” you could give Reality Kitchen a boost.