Saturday, November 8, 2008

Asphalt as art

One of the things that I really like about my neighborhood is that there is always something just a little bit curious happening. When I woke this morning I was surprised to see a dozen or so people across the street from my home huddled around several tables snapping pictures and engaging in some sort of silk screening process.

After watching pedestrians walk-up and talk to the industrious crew, I decided to walk over to see first hand what was happening. As it turns out this is a group of urban artists who are creating limited edition prints steamrolled onto tar paper to commemorate a forthcoming publication that "promotes the urgency for greater creativity in the design of asphalt spaces."

At first blush this might sound a bit crazy, but as Paula Meijerink - Asst. Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University (the woman in the lower right corner of the photos below) explained, this is an affordable, 100% recyclable material that is cheap and readily available. The publication these prints are being developed for is intended to "inspire change by exploring the properties of asphalt and asphalt spaces" and to spur new and creative uses for this material.

Kudos to Paula Meijerink, Boston-based illustrator and designer James Kraus of Art Guy Studios, and the small team of helpers who dedicated their Saturday to this project. If you would like to learn more check out their cool website at

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