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Large Art in Small Places: Discovering the California Mural Townsby Kevin Bruce
Synopses & Reviews
A Colorful Journey throughSmall Towns with Epic Art
In the 1930s, film star (and part Cherokee) Will Rogers would come to Bishop, California, and buy the Native American children ice cream at the local pharmacy soda fountain, at a time when they weren't allowed inside. Today, a mural on the town's modern-day pharmacy commemorates that moment--huge pink ice cream cones and all. The small towns of California are filled with such murals, capturing moments of local color, cultural significance, natural beauty, and imaginative whimsy. This book is your key to going off the beaten path and discovering these hidden gems of public art for yourself.
LARGE ART IN SMALL PLACES features more than 250 contemporary murals by noted muralists and local artistic collectives alike, including the trompe l'oeil narrative illusions of John Pugh, the larger-than-life epic masterpieces of Wei Luan, the expressive portraits of Don Gray, and the dramatic historic tableaus of Art Mortimer. Part art book and part travel guide, LARGE ART IN SMALL PLACES takes mural aficionados, local history lovers, armchair travel-ers, and weekend roadtrippers on an unforgettable tour of quaint, quirky, and colorful small-town California.
Part art book, part travel guide, this colorful journey through more than 20 California mural towns is perfect for art aficionados, armchair travelers, and weekend road-trippers.
What do redwoods, stagecoaches, and tyrannosaurs have in common? They're all the subjects of murals that can be found in many small towns in California. Mural societies in regions tucked off the main highways are bringing acclaimed artists, youth groups, and other townsfolk together to explore their towns' history, flora, fauna, and whimsical imaginative landscapes. LARGE ART IN SMALL PLACES takes curious art lovers on a tour of small-town California, where graphic expression has taken to the streets.
About the Author
KEVIN BRUCE is a native Californian born in San Francisco in 1941. Author of THE MURALS OF JOHN PUGH, he is currently engaged as an art historian and author with a focus on chronicling the contemporary mural. He resides with his wife and fellow mural archivist, Pauline, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Berkeley, California.
THE AUTHOR SCOOP
Read any good books lately?I am a fan of Michael Connelly, Lee Childs, Elizabeth George, P.D. James, and art historian Wanda Corn. What are you working on now?I may be working on a book on the largest mural in the world, which may be created in Dubai. What's the farthest you've ever traveled?The longest trip I have taken was a 104-day round–the-world cruise on the Saga Rose in 2002. It was over 37,000 miles on the ocean and about 10,000 miles over it. What was the first book you can remember reading?The first “real” book I remember was Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. I read all his books one summer.If you had to boil the message of Large Art in Small Places down to a couple sentences, what would it be?With this book as your guide, it is my hope that you discover the richness of the California mural towns and all that they have to offer the enlightened traveler. It is also my hope that you seek out mural towns elsewhere in your travels: with murals as a central focus, the history and culture of the world are on the walls for you to enjoy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Miracle of the California Mural Towns 1
Chapter 1: North Coast Mural Route 5
Crescent City 6
Chapter 2: North Central Mural Route 31
Chapter 3: Eastern Sierra Mural Route 46
Chapter 4: Central Valley Mural Route 56
Chapter 5: South Central Coast Mural Route 115
Santa Paula 132
Santa Maria 138
Chapter 6: Southern Mural Route 140
Twentynine Palms 155
Big Bear Lake 176
Further Mural Town Explorations 180
About the Author 184
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » California