Take a good look at these moving works, because rebuilding efforts will render them all ephemeral soon.
Thursday’s news that PG&E blew off maintenance on the power lines whose failure likely caused the November's Camp Fire has brought another round of exasperation with the utility company (and has PG&E wildly spinning out public relations damage control). But one uplifting story is emerging from the Camp Fire aftermath, as the New York Times profiles an artist who is painting murals on the ruins of burnt-out structures in Paradise, CA.
That artist is Shane Grammer, whose most prominent work is amusement park installations at Disneyland and Universal Studios. Grammer is a native of Chico, some 15 miles from Paradise, and many of his childhood friends lost their homes the Camp Fires.
“The fire didn’t really hit home for me until friends I grew up with started posting on Facebook,” Grammer tells the New York Times. “It’s not devastation where in six months, everything’s going to be normal.”
All 12 pieces he’s done so far have been with the permission of the homes' owners. The first of these was the above-seen mural of a woman’s face painted on a chimney. That mural was torn down last week, as rebuilding efforts will render most of these works into temporary pieces.
Yes, that’s Jesus on this mural, painted on the remains of Hope Christian Church on Pentz Road in Paradise. Church employee Jeana Darby tells the Times that the “charred baptismal is as encouraging as the wooden cross still standing after the wall burned to the ground.”
Others are homages to the people who perished in the fire, like 84-year-old Helen Pace seen in the photo above.
Some permanent good may come of these temporary murals: Grammer says in a Facebook post that an upcoming art show and coffee table book will feature these works, and that “proceeds will be going to Paradise Fire victims.”