OK, I had no idea what I was in for when we pulled up to the Victory Grill. From what Burner said it sounded like a spot that was in my head "retro blues club, maybe latino owned, maybe this maybe that".
We were greeted by a brother named Cliff who was originally from Trinidad and spoke with a "i tell it like it is" accent. He showed us some cool hospitality and we spoke about the city we just visited and the mural. He spoke a bit about the spot and hinted at a need for art and for the spot to maintain its historic glory. Historic glory?For real? I found out what this meant later. So Cliff offered to take us to get some food since we were not asking for any payment for the huge mural we were going to paint.
We went outside and it was about 100 degrees! The wall was about 120-150 feet wide and about 20 feet tall.It was split up in one section that was really long, then about 8 feet that wrapped around, then another long section, with an upper area that I had to climb up and steady myself on.
So we went to work, asking questions, kind of throwing out our pre-concieved notions.Which is what happends at almost every wall and community we encounter. Cliff told us it would be good to speak to Ms Eva Lindsey. So we went to the store, then back to our homie Courtney's house. Thank you Courthey Y Martin! Shes hella cool and let us crash at her house-which was dope.It makes me hella anxious to own my first spot.Soon......soon.
So then we sketched.Straight to working on how the mural would look, flow, be balance, the color, everything. Two things we all practiced alot on this tour was how to freestyle together and to plan an actual composition, which is hella hard.Especially when everyone has talent and can hold it down there selves; we steeped up and stepped back
Next day:We wake up, hella tired, kind of delirious but ready to talk to Ms. Lindsey. Mannn, she dropped so much history on us, i felt like i went rhough a whole class. But she did it by telling stories and beign there made you feel what she was talking about.It turns out that BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, Count Basie, Ike and Tina Turner had performed there. Wow, I had no idea! Not only that, this venue had been one of the spots on the historic "Chitlin Circuit".This is back when "black folks couldnt go to certian clubs" and "people liked to jook(dance)". The historic Victory Grill was established in 1945 and was still going strong!
So we took notes, tried to film everything Ms. Lindey was saying and began making our sketch. Miguel came up with the best put together idea for the wall. At first i was slow to get on this idea which was hella doable, but once we started it worked. We were able to bust out something cohesive and balanced quickly.
Took us about 4-5 days to do, we got to meet some cool folks as we painted.Much respect to Mofoz-the homie mark helped us out greatly. Sloke and spain, and loomit came thru plus hella austin and texas in general came thru. We rocked it once again, kicked at Marks show, washed clothes, and were out. Another exhcnage of history and life for some artwork(that if we did it right) reflects those experiences. Were in Flagstaff,AZ right now.More soon.
Trust Your Struggle Calamity
"Come Bien" Books