Adventures in Ohio

There usually isn't so much adventure in Ohio when I paint a mural as compared to some of the other locations where I find myself.  But, muraling in Ohio has a really good shot at getting noticed and then making local news.  This time was no exception.

One day in the painting process, five women from the Upper Arlington neighborhood came by to paint.  That was enough to make the front page of the Upper Arlington News, a local neighborhood paper, with a full color photo of the mural.  All press is supposed to be good, but front page/full color is magnificent!

Here's most of the article by Nate Ellis:

The focus of the NNEMAP Food Pantry has always been on helping the community, first out of a house on Dennison Avenue, then in the basement of an old church in the Short North area of Columbus and now in a converted VFW hall at 677 11th Ave. near the state fairgrounds.

"Community" is also the focus of a colorful mural -- designed by Phillip Martin, "the Mural Man" -- being painted on the side of its new headquarters, where operations were moved in May.

Martin, an internationally known artist who has painted 41 murals in 19 countries, was being assisted last week by approximately 100 volunteers, including Upper Arlington residents Jackie Jerabek, Suzanne Kull, Priscilla Mead, Anne Nelson and Sally Schill, as well as members of the NNEMAP board of directors, supporting churches, people who live in the food pantry's new neighborhood and the very clients the pantry serves.

"The mural represents not only the food pantry part of what we do, but also other things we do, like providing grooming kits, pet supplies and job training programs," said Nelson, NNEMAP past president and a member of King Avenue United Methodist Church. "Most of the services are depicted on the mural."

The NNEMAP Food Pantry -- formerly known as the Near North Side Emergency Material Assistance Program -- has provided food to people in need throughout the greater Columbus area for 47 years. It is, according to information from the organization, the fifth-largest food pantry in Ohio and served 29,600 family members in 2014. NNEMAP is sponsored by 33 central Ohio churches.
Martin, whose work is featured at themuralman.com, said two shifts of volunteers would work daily to complete the mural.

"Altogether, there are about 100 people painting this week," he said. "That, I think, is the neatest thing about my murals. It's always a community project."

The NNEMAP project began with him learning more about the food pantry and the people it serves who live at or near the poverty level. From there, he created a sketch that was replicated on NNEMAP's exterior wall.

"It usually takes about four days to get all the color on," Martin said. "After all the color is on, I outline everything in black. It will take about a week to get it all outlined. It's going to be a great eye attraction to introduce people to NNEMAP."

Making the Upper Arlington New is terrific, but in Columbus, you really want to be reported on in the Dispatch.  Chris Russell, a photographer from the capital's largest paper came to the mural site on five - count 'em - five different occasions.  I asked if the mural was that interesting or if he just had time in his schedule.  Well, be careful what you ask for.  He told the truth I didn't want to hear.

I always like to think of myself as a fairly good photographer.  An artist's eye and PhotoShop make a huge difference with my pictures.  So, I was really interested to see the different angles that this professional photographer found.  And, Chris was really good at his job.  He created a video for the Dispatch website with photos, music and me speaking.  One of my friends asked if I spoke from a script.  No, it was in the front seat of the photographer's car, off the top of my head, with only one take at the microphone.  When everything was woven together, it was a very professional presentation.

Fortunately, not all confidence in my abilities was shot.  Although he came up with a clever title, I could have helped Mr. Russell with the written text that accompanied his video presentation.

North Side Food Pantry Gets "Mural Man" Treatment

The once-nondescript NNEMAP (Near North Side Emergency Material Assistance Program) building is now a site to behold, thanks to the efforts of Phillip Martin and about 100 volunteers. 

Martin, also known as “The Mural Man,” is an internationally-known artist who has painted 41 mural in 19 countries. The mural painted on the east side of the building at 677 11th Ave. depicts the food pantry services the building provides and all the other services that are available to the needy. 

Two shifts of volunteers worked on the mural, and Martin hopes the work will not only add some beauty to the neighborhood, but also attract the attention of passersby and serve as an introduction to NNEMAP and the important work they do.
The pantry gets its food from the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and private donations. It served 29,600 people in 2014.

Copyright 2011 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.