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Public Art in the Central Business District

Grow Beyond the Fabric, Mandi Caskey, 2023.
237 S Third St

Mandi Caskey aka Miss Birdy is a muralist, gallery artist, and community activist. Caskey chooses to place her attention on creating imagery that will force the viewer to look outside of their mental and emotional world. Using an array of different mediums, the artwork pulls itself away from the artist and takes a life of its own. Caskey’s mural work tends to bleed into a fantasy world that organically takes over any environment and effortlessly changes the impact of a space. While she’s a local artist, Caskey is known to travel the world for art installations. Being extremely versatile and energetic, she becomes a part of the city and loves it as home. 

New Flock, Adam Brouillette, 2023.
150 S Front St

Statement from the artist: My work is based on a series of characters I have been developing for the past 20 years. Using these characters,, I have been developing a language. They started as a tool, a desire to communicate with a current generation of viewers that grew up watching cartoons. I wanted to convey my thoughts on social scenarios, mental health, scientific discovery, and greater philosophies, through a simple lens. These characters have developed into a highly refined vehicle for these thoughts. I can use the brightness and the fun of the characters in a wide variety of manners, from subversive to direct, from overt to subdued. I want to invite the viewer into something that feels friendly, using friendly imagery, to then have them finding deeper meanings or discussions with each scenario presented. My goal is never to give a complete answer to what is happening or what each piece is about, but to direct the viewers through a funnel like thought process that moves them closer to my motives for the piece while still allowing their own experience to overlay the characters in the work. I also like to leave a hint of daydreamy quality or a surrealist tone. I like things to feel like a dream created this weird world. The characters continue to develop, sometimes through story, sometimes through adjustments in technique and I do not see an end to how they can continue to take the ideas in my head and turn them into something digestible and desirable from a viewing public.

These characters ARE the primary feature of my work, even as the mediums, methods and scales change. The work originally started as simple line drawings, developed initially through printmaking, and grew exponentially though painting. The drawings were originally me trying to find simplified ways to communicate larger ideas. The images were basic stick figures that started taking on personalities with each story. The printmaking taught me a lot about process, palette, and precision. As I moved into painting, I kept much of what I had learned from the drawings and prints, keeping flat colors and bold lines as part of the language that helped seduce viewers. I trained myself to remove brushmarks to make things flat and graphic. I learned to scale both small and large, and more recently, even larger. I found that regardless of the medium or scale, the images always took on the same characteristics. More recently, I’ve started painting large scale murals of these characters, finding the same ability to tell stories, but at a different scale. Regardless of scale or medium, I’ve become very focused on things like color mixing and palette, shadows and depth in a relatively 2D image making process, and the importance of the features of the characters, whether it be the expressions on the faces, positioning of bodies, or interactions of the characters with the backgrounds.

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