From 1977 to 1981 the much-loved Lindy Squared mural became a tourist stop, a landmark and a source of pride for the people of St. Louis. Though the building came down in 1981, the vision of recreating Lindy Squared has remained alive in many people’s hearts and minds. We now have an opportunity to not only recreate Lindy Squared in an innovative fashion, but to also initiate a mural renaissance in downtown St. Louis. Our dream, after recreating Lindy Squared, is to have painted murals that are artistically creative and inspiring on other buildings. These murals will give a positive message that promotes St. Louis. This would require a careful selection of locations suitable for the murals as well as a choice of subject matter that is compatible with, enhances and beautifies the surrounding architecture and street scape. The “Lindy Squared 2.0” mural will be hand-painted on a movable backing, so it can “travel.” It will be installed in four different locations over a two-year period. With strategic placement, a theme of “Where’s Lindy Now?” would allow for ongoing chatter about public art and events or developments in the region. It will also help to showcase a variety of neighborhoods. A larger initiative has a longer life - to use murals to help perpetuate the art community in St. Louis, and ultimately spawn more outdoor art that can be viewed for free (which is the nature of public art). Murals are a great medium to showcase the talents of local artisans and be a catalyst that promotes St. Louis as a great place to live, work, play, and visit. Using creative ideas, technology and a public forum, the initiative will be fun, engaging and an enticing attraction to people of all ages and from all walks of life. Building regional and even national awareness of St. Louis as a center for art will support tourism, artists and art-lovers, and enhance the stature of St. Louis as a world-class city. There are a number of other cities that have recognized the value of a vibrant visual environment, with murals playing a key roll. The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is by far the largest in the U.S., perhaps the world, with over 3,000 murals in their collection. Surely, St. Louis would benefit in many ways from having more public art.
Overall Vision and Approach – A successful program for mural placement should embrace an open, “community” attitude encouraging the involvement, support, acceptance and cooperation of nearby residents and businesses. While designs should have general appeal, they should include tasteful yet creative, unique and thought-provoking styles. To achieve the maximum impact and to gain support and momentum, the first murals should be completed downtown. They should be strategically located, i.e., visible from the major routes coming into St. Louis. See below showing some (but not all) examples of potential mural locations in downtown St. Louis.
Recreating Lindy Squared – A group of people who are passionate about promoting St. Louis will create the new Lindy Squared. The group includes Robert Fishbone, who was one of the painters of the original Lindy Squared. It was painted on the side of the old Lion Gas Building at 9th and Chestnut streets in 1977 and was destroyed when the building was demolished in 1981.
A larger vision – Not only will we have enhanced many former blank spaces, the murals will become destinations in their own right. By integrating with a website and online list of viewable outdoor art that is publicly available and continuously updated, art lovers, art students, tourists and other visitors could enjoy a walking tour or carriage ride that includes the murals as well as sculptures, historically significant buildings, and the like. The placement of QR or VR digital bar codes on or near each public art piece would make the information easily accessible by smart phones and this modern technology would add to the fun. Many murals have existed in neighborhoods throughout St. Louis over the years. We plan on using the momentum of the downtown murals to expand the project throughout the city, each mural reflecting the uniqueness of the location and having meaning for the local population.
Potential other Mural Themes – The subject matter for all murals will have certain common traits: To promote pride in St. Louis, inform and educate people, boost awareness of what makes St. Louis unique and special, be creatively rendered and have universal acceptance.
Budget – The budget has two tiers: Tier 1: Materials, prep, insurance, anchoring system, and labor: $25,000 Tier 2: Same as above with 100 plaques to attach to exiting public art & QR codes: $36,500 For every donation of $25, you will be designated the official sponsor of one square (12" x 12") on the mural, PLUS you will receive our heartfelt thanks in the form of a poster commemorating the return of Lindy Squared (once the goal is reached)! If all 1,200 (30 x 40) squares are purchased, the goal will have been met. If you donate $100, in addition to your four squares, you will also receive a limited edition, signed version of the poster! Each "Square Foot of Lindy" will be assigned in the order of donation, starting at the top left square and moving from left to right, then down. Help start the painting today!
The existing “Public Art by Region” website of the Regional Arts Council lists about 100 pieces of public art in the regions of Downtown St. Louis, Laclede’s Landing and City Garden. See http://qrmemorials.com/products for an example of a stainless steel, self-affixing plaque. Thank you for your support!