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Happenings

Paul LaJeunesse's North Shore Mural To Be Unveiled 11/7

Paul LaJeunesse's mural, the newest addition to public art on the North Shore, will be unveiled at a public event on November 7th from 4 - 6 p.m.

From a media release:

The NorthShore Merchants Collective, an organization of 65 diverse NorthShore businesses, is funding the placement of a mural that will be visible from the north end of Chattanooga's landmark Walnut Street Bridge. The mural will be on the wall that runs along Forrest Avenue at the intersection of Forrest and Frazier Avenues. Artist Paul LaJeunesse's design was recently chosen from among those of other local artists who responded to the Collective's open call for design submissions.

LaJeunesse's painting entitled "Confluence" layers familiar NorthShore landmarks and imagery to create a vibrant and colorful composition celebrating the many ways people live and play on the NorthShore. Wishing to emphasize the neighborhood as a place of connectivity, LaJeunesse's design depicts human figures entwined with images of the Walnut Street Bridge, the Coolidge Park Fountain and the Carousel.

LaJeunesse states his painting "aims to celebrate the collection of ways people use the NorthShore, giving no precedence to any single place, but to treat the whole community as a collective. The combination of layered imagery allows the viewer to explore the painting, just as they would explore the variety of places on the NorthShore. The color palette is intense and lively, attempting to embody the energy and atmosphere of the community. Underlying all of the imagery is the river, the original lifeline of Chattanooga before the railways. The bridge and the river operate symbolically as connection, trade, travel, ingenuity, but most importantly as a lifeline for a community."

LaJeunesse will also be making other connections in his mural by bridging art with technology.  Using a method that his been in practice for the past 20 years, LaJeunesse will create his painting off-site by working on a thin, nonwoven fabric called PolyTab that is similar to parachute cloth.  It will take five fabric panels to create the mural which will then be adhered to the wall in much the same way wallpaper is hung. This relatively new process allows the artist to work in a studio and frees him of the unpredictable restraint of weather and the logistical challenge of working on a precarious slope alongside moving traffic.

About the Artist:

LaJeunesse recently relocated to Chattanooga from Atlanta where he was a member of the faculty at Georgia State University. He received his master of fine arts in painting from Bowling Green State University in 2006, the Elizabeth Greenshields grant in 2006, and a Fulbright grant in 2007 in Reykjavil and Siglufjordur, Iceland.  His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. 

About the Collective:

The NorthShore Merchants Collective, founded in 2006, is committed to preserving and promoting the unique nature, eclectic image and original integrity of the NorthShore neighborhood. The themes of LaJeunesse's design, inclusiveness and bridging historical icons with present experience, reflect and illustrate elements of the group's mission.