yay-side bayside

 

I was driving down an unfamiliar street in Portland recently, on my way from one obligation to the next, when I found myself surrounded by two rather powerful pieces of public art. I had to stop the car so I could take a closer look.

The East Bayside Community Mosaic Mural is huge, colorful, and absolutely gorgeous. The more I looked at it, the more I fell in love with it. Positive messages and universal symbols swirl around together, creating a dynamic and unifying piece that people of all backgrounds and walks of life can identify with and relate to. The East Bayside Community Mosaic Mural was the brainchild of USM Artist-In-Residence Muhsana Ali, who had a vision to “unite the human family” by allowing residents and community members to “come together and create,” and therefore feel more connected to one another and their neighborhood. Take a look at these photos!

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Just across the street is a building with a fence unlike any I have ever seen: it features text excerpts by Portland area students, courtesy of The Telling Room.

gate 1         gate 2

gate 3         gate 4

gate 5         gate 6

gate 7          gate 8

gate 9

What a wonderful surprise it was to stumble on these beautiful creations! Do you have any favorite public art pieces? If so, where are they located, and what makes them so special to you? Please let me know in the comments…I might like to pay them a visit!

 

pleasantly distracted

Looking for a pleasant distraction from what’s been getting you down? Here’s some random art to put a smile on your face! I wonder how many smiles this little non-smiley face gets in one day? I know it certainly got one from me!

 

have-a-day

 

Here’s an interesting bit of random art right on Pleasant Street in Brunswick: instead of painting directly on a sign or a wall, this artist decided to attach their work to a signpost with some wire. I love this idea!

 

plst2

 

These trees can be found in Portland…

 

tree1    tree2

 

…and this tree is inside the Shaw’s in Falmouth!

 

shaws-mural

 

Here is a great series of murals celebrating the different neighborhoods in Portland…

 

opm1 opm2

opm3 opm4

opm5

 

…and there’s that banana again!

 

banana-ashmont

 

Everyone loves a teddy bear, even war heroes. My hat goes off to whoever thought Joshua Chamberlain might be in need of a cuddle with a plush toy.

 

jc-bear

 

Does random art like this make you as happy as it makes me? Do you have any photos or stories about random art that you’d like to share? Please include your thoughts in the comments…and while you’re at it, give Acts of Random Art a follow on Twitter and/or Instagram!

 

PDA = public displays of art!

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know this about me: I just love seeing art in unexpected places! Here are some photos that may inspire you to keep your eyes open for visual treats. They always brighten my day!

Look up! This bird sculpture is on the roof of a building on Congress Street in downtown Portland:

 

bird-sculpture

 

Well-placed, colorful stickers can make the back of a traffic sign worth looking at…

 

more-stickers

 

…and there’s that banana again!

 

stop-banana

 

Speaking of stickers, it’s especially wonderful when you see a sticker of your dear friend’s artwork on someone’s car…this is the work of the lovely and talented Sabrina Thiemke-Greene, otherwise known as Think Greene! 

 

sabrinas-bees

 

I feel like I’m seeing more and more murals ever since my trip to San Francisco last October, where I was blown away by the volume and the quality of the public art. Here’s a mural with an unusual theme for Grey, Maine: Al Capone!

 

mural-grey

 

My husband Terry and I stopped at Otto in Portland for a quick slice of pizza on our way out of town the other day, and we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon an artist in the process of painting a mural right on the side of the building! Susan Bartlett Rice was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with me about her work and pose for some pictures. Thank you, Susan, and congratulations on the great job!

 

sbr-wmural

sbr-mural

 

How do you feel about public art? Do you have any favorites? If so, where are they located? Please share in the comments section!