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Mural 53, Trevitt Elementary, Columbus, Ohio

This project started with an e-mail message:

Call me.
Phone number.
Dr. Mason

I had no idea who this person was.  Over the past few weeks, I had contacted over 250 local schools in multiple districts around central Ohio.  And, I spread the net wide contacting administrators, assistant administrators, art teachers, librarians and specialists working with autism.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, had opened up for me.  I had no luck with any of my embassy contacts.  Actually, as I write this, I was supposed to be muraling in Africa, but that folded for the moment.  Earth University in Costa Rica, where I already painted two murals, did not select me in a mural competition.  And, a fancy, schmancy school along the East Coast that was sort of interested in me as a visiting artist decided I wasn't who they wanted "at this point". 

So, I back checked the email message, and called Trevitt Elementary School in Columbus.
It didn't take long to be really impressed with Dr. Mason.  She had only been at the school for ten months, but it was painted, polished and the halls were adorned with inspirational quotes.  On top of that, she loved my work, which always makes me feel good.  And, she said, "I wish I knew about you years ago."

Me too.

It's kind of a miracle that she learned about me at all.  Dr. Mason already knew a muralist whom she wanted to paint her school.  In addition, I wrote to her school email address, which I found online on the district's website.  She almost never checked that account.  And finally, she always instantly deleted any and every solicitation.  Always.  So, again, it was a miracle that she found me. But, she felt like she was supposed to open my email.  And, she really liked what she saw.  Dr. Mason said I had a really unique skill set that needed to be used across the city.  She was well connected and planned on spreading the word.  I wasn't sure if it was serious or joking, but she added that I might as well set up an office in her school.  She was going to keep me that busy.

How could I not like this person?

The first project she wanted was fairly large and right up my skill set.  Calligraphy with over forty inspirational words.  Most were in black but the Six Pillars of Character - Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship - needed to be in specific colors.  These six words were identified as core ethical values that transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences.  Articulated in the Aspen Declaration in 1992, I wondered why this was the first time I'd ever heard of them.  I asked if I had freedom with fonts and sizes.  My main concern was that the six pillars needed to be larger for greater emphasis.  That sealed the deal.

There were a few hoops to jump through before I could paint for Columbus City Schools.  I had to register as an approved vendor with the district.  And, before I could do that, I had to register with the State of Ohio as an official business.  So now, after fifty-three murals around the world, I finally became the president and CEO of The Mural Man LLC.  Who knew?  Who ever dreamed that big?

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Copyright 2017 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.