Saturday, September 26, 2009

part two: Paintings by Milby High Students at Local Bank

Here's the other painting by the Milby High students that hangs on the walls of a  bank on Lawndale Avenue in Houston's East End.

The lush vegetation reminds me of Michoacan.

Sometimes I read a line in a book and say, gee, I wish I'd written that.
Sometimes I see a design, and say gee, I wish I'd designed that.
Whenever I see that moon in the grasp of the wrench, in this painting,  I always say, 
gee, I wish I'd thought of that.  
It's one powerful image inside a larger captivating scene.  

Anyone want to take a stab at the "theme" of this mural?  Just a guess, a feeling?
Help me out here.

What strikes me each time I'm in front of this painting is the strong Mood emanating from it.  That's difficult to achieve.    And this was painted by a group of  high school students. 

I hope the new bank owners continue the tradition that Laredo National Bank started by commissioning local students' artwork.
The results here are world class, and straight out of the East End of Houston.  
Laredo National Bank was always a good neighbor and business partner in our barrio.
They will be missed.

and a reader emailed me this morning (Sunday) that in yesterday's Chronicle there was an article about BBVA Compass:  wow, the guy was really steamed in his note to me.
Here's a snippet of the piece: 
BBVA Compass is the latest bank to catch the ire of customers and attorneys because of overdraft fees.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this week, Houston-based restaurant company Fat Butter accused the bank of deceptive trade practices, claiming the bank posted debits out of the order they were made so it could increase overdraft fees.
For example, the lawsuit claims the bank pushed the largest debit through its account first, creating an overdraft, and then posted other smaller debits so a fee could be assessed for each transaction.

Paintings at Laredo National Bank

I've waited so long to bring this photo to the blog, and to you.

If  I was the official tour guide to  Houston's East End, one of the must-see sites on my route would be the two (2) paintings in the lobby of Laredo National Bank on Lawndale street.

The first one, shown here in the photo, was painted by a group of students at Milby High and commissioned by the bank.  I just want to hug each and every one of those kids.  And I'm not the hugging type.  I want to say to them, "Yes! THIS is our neighborhood, isn't it?!"  They captured the ubiquitous chemical tank cars on the railroad tracks, the white stucco of the community center at Mason Park, the ever watchful Orange and white striped burn-off towers at the refinery, the bayou, the lush greenery, and the view of and from the commanding ship channel bridge.  This is our visual mix.  This is Houston's East End.

In the tradition of great muralists, like Diego Rivera, look at the command of symbolism in this painting.
That graphic body on the far left of the painting  is an artful nod to DuChamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, but here, it's Ascending!  With the help of english, history, and science, the steps rise all the way back to the future, to the top where sits the Mayan, with his pre-conquest grasp of mathematics.
Can you make out the temple/pyramid at the top of the steps?   These kids are good!

So I went to the bank this morning, with my camera in pocket. They had just opened and tellers were otherwise occupied with no guard on duty yet.  I snapped the photos quickly, and didn't ask permission.
They would have invented some kind of security type reason to say no!

reference to previous link:  Babs descending her staircase, post on this blog dated Saturday, August 22nd.