Monday, July 30, 2007

The Mark of Lantana

I know, they're not LantanaLantana Projects recently had a couple of really interesting posts on their blog about guerrilla gardening. First they posted a how-to, followed by visual how-to about encasing lantana seeds in a clay or mud projectile, flinging them into an empty lot around Memphis and waiting for your guerilla garden to grow. Wonderful!

If Lantana had their very own breed of Lantana we'd know "Lantana is here" when the guerilla landscape blooms.

They've also had some great discussions about the the UM Graffiti Art project. My thoughts, coming from an uneducated perspective: 1) I like it -- the more public art the better; 2) the fact that there were no artists of color should no less be a problem if it were some other form than graffiti art; 3) if someone shows up tonight and paints heroic images of Che Guevara and Herman Morris on top of the original works, or a tableau depicting the historic exploitation of workers at the hands of multinational athletic departments, should the new artist be in trouble? Have they destroyed or mutilated the original work, or have they brought it closer to perfection?

Finally, Smart City Memphis' Tom Jones, guest-blogging on the CEOs for Cities blog, posted a great article about Lantana. My only comment is Lantana's own post about this attention was titled "Lantana Projects Featured Nationally." Hopefully the attention will bring new audiences, new artists, new funding, but that's about audience size, not geographic scope of audience. The scope has existed as long their website. Lantana is featured nationally -- internationally -- there all the time.

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Anonymous fieldguidetomemphis said...

just got word today that the UM public art project is getting painted over so that the artists can start afresh.

some of my former students were both legit and guerrilla graffitists and did amazing community murals. i drove around memphis for 7 hours yesterday and from what i observed, there are many (if not most) buildings in need of a fresh coat of paint. who cares who does the painting or in how many colors. who cares if we have no idea what it says. the artwork at the university has been a public contribution, not an eyesore. expand the muralization to everywhere.

i'm having a moment of nostalgia for the classic movie "wild style."

4:46 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

painted over as part of the process, or because of something "wrong"?

Any idea when they'll do it?


5:17 PM  
Blogger fearlessvk said...

fwiw here is an excerpt from the email sent to members of the u of m community about the repainting of the wall:

Beginning today, you will notice that the construction wall surrounding the new University Center is being repainted.

Cedar Nordbye, a professor in our Art Department, will be painting a new mural on the wall once we have established a solid palette of gray. We envision the wall as a revolving canvas, one that our University art students and faculty will use to depict many different themes throughout the life of the construction project. The wall will also be used to promote student activities and athletic events, in addition to displaying artwork.

so, nothing "wrong" - just part of the overall vision for the project.

10:12 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

thanks fearlessvk. that's great info.

The wall needs a blog.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Lantana Projects said...

Thanks for the comments! We will be more than happy to continue giving the UM wall space on our blog... And we'd be equally happy to send you some lantana camara seeds if you're interested in doing some guerrilla gardening with us... :)

9:41 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

LP, I definitely want some of the seeds. I'll look around your site (seems like I saw details somewhere) but if you see this comment, post details.

thanks for all the good stuff you guys do.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Lantana Projects said...

Send me an email at, or through the contact page (mailing list) on our website, with your address and I will mail or deliver seeds to you.

And that goes for anyone reading this who has in interest in helping us grow something good... Thanks for your support!

12:07 PM  

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