Has a fresh coat of paint on an office building ever stopped you cold in your tracks? Or made you skid to a stop in your car? I was in our downtown, on brick-covered Franklin Street, when I approached Tyler. (Many of our earliest streets are named for U.S. presidents such as Madison, Polk, Jackson, Harrison, etc. Kennedy didn’t come until much later.) I was noticing several attractive additions to our restaurant and bar scene. Just then I glanced to my left and literally did a double-take. One of the fine, solid old brick office buildings, probably built in the 1930s or so, was sporting an incredible new coat of paint. But ripping away from the roof and splitting the entire brick wall at the building’s corner was a horrible, almost ghoulish gash. A lava-like flow seemed to be coming from the opening and was drooling toward the sidewalk below. Huge, giant Blue Notes were escaping from the hole and rushing out in every direction. It was just too cool. Not only had I never seen this painting but had to really work to learn who was responsible for this creepy and chaotic scene in our business district.
Terry Klaaren, the artist (KlaarenArt.com) is extremely talented and has paintings and murals in several locations in the Tampa Bay area (including 80 Hillsborough and Pasco county schools) as well as in Texas and Utah. He has a studio in Tampa but has completed several "plein air" paintings while traveling throughout the United States and Europe. Currently he is exhibiting at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) Arc Gallery. His outdoor murals are simply fascinating and so well conceived and executed. Klaaren’s murals are in private collections and numerous companies and public institutions… including an unsuspecting three-story building in Tampa’s downtown, just blocks from the new Tampa Museum of Art, which is under construction. Like ants that march through any opening, the ravenous Blue Notes might be making their way right now to the new museum’s riverfront site and burrowing into the foundation. Can’t anyone stop them?
What is the world of visual and performing arts coming to? Sweet, dear, harmonious notes of music gone mad. And very blue.