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Story of the Mural 46 in Chisinau, Moldova

My hosts in Moldova told me that my experience in Chisinau would be very different from the time I spent in Tiraspol.  If given my choice, I usually go for interior muralsas in Tiraspol because I believe they will last longer.  However, I paint wherever people want my murals.  And, in the capital, they wanted an exterior mural at one of the busiest intersections in the downtown.  I loved it.

The newest mural was on the front of a school for special needs children.  It was summer vacation, so most of the students were not at school.  But, since it was during the break, I had a lot of high school students from Chisinau -- who spoke English – and were willing and free to paint at the school.  There was no lack of communication during this project.

As with all my murals, I like to meet with local people and discuss the content of the design.  The director wanted a combination of school activities and Moldovan symbols.  Easy enough to do.  I tried to include everything she asked for.  And, in a design that was seventeen yards long, it was easy to include a lot.  However, when I showed the director the finished art, her first words were, “Where is the stork?”  and my next words were, “You never mentioned anything about a stork!”  It was too late for that request.

Regardless, the director of the school was simply incredible.  I created a new word to describe her, “Direxcellence”.  The very first day of painting, I showed up in my very used muraling clothes.   But, in the director’s mind, they still needed protection.  She gave me a T-shirt to wear over my other shirt and then wrapped an additional shirt around my waist to protect my pants.  I felt well cared for, and I always enjoy that experience.

Every day, I had “coffee” with the Direxcellence.  Coffee was not just coffee in Moldova.  Since neither us spoke a common language, we just made up for it with food.  Depending on the day, “coffee” included coffee, tea, strawberries, cherries, sliced oranges and lemons, kiwi fruit, home-made pastries, cake, cookies, imported treats from the United States, meat (which could have been chicken or rabbit), home-made soup and dumplings.  “Coffee” in Chisinau was always lunch.

There are some places where you travel in the former Soviet Union that you get hit in the face with an old communist mentality.  I don’t know where I was on the day when someone from the embassy of some unnamed communist country with a billion people stopped by the mural.  He asked if the project was some kind of propaganda.  I wish I could have heard and understood what the Direxcellence had to say to him.  Needless to say, she handled the situation.

Copyright 2016 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.