I was on a self assignment today. I was a tourist in my own town. I’d driven by a little stretch of North Lamar Blvd. on my way to meet someone in Clarksville for coffee when I saw a splash of color against a gray sky to my right. I turned around to see what it was, made it down a crowded side street and steered into an almost psychedelic collection of public art. I’d never seen any spontaneous art exhibit on any scale like this before. That was half a week ago but when I got up this morning and the sky was beautiful and clear I knew I should grab a camera, hop in the car and go over to document this manmade rainbow. I was not disappointed.
I like well done graffiti. I love the transient nature of that art and I love the fact that it’s out in public being shared and devoured by a wide ranging audience. Apparently I am not alone. This is not “outlaw” art. Someone has created a temporary park called “The Hope Outdoor Gallery” and they have the full permission of the land owners. There is a “no trespass” sign that’s someone told me was up and down on a regular basis but I was also told that it was a lame defense against personal injury lawsuits. An attempt to limit liability in case someone was to slip off one of the dusty paths and plunge down forty feet onto hard concrete and rebar.
I remember the site well. It’s right next to a part of Clarksville known as “Castle Hill” because a particularly evil real estate developer had built some sort of castle above this site before being eventually turned out by the Fed and the IRS.