Each summer, musical performers, visual artists, and festivalgoers converge on Louisville’s Waterfront Park, transforming it into a communally creative village of wild and vibrant energy. Though billed primarily as a music festival, Forecastle also bolsters the innate mutualism of music and the visual arts. The pinnacle of this initiative is a live art mural directed by Petersen Thomas and executed by a team of local artists – Josue Archilla, Molly Cochran, Danny Kiely, Casey Mckinney, and Joen Pallesen.
The artists begins painting as soon as the first note is struck on Friday and continue until the last band has finished its final encore on Sunday. If visual art can be equated to musical arrangement, this collective would be a jam band. Each artist showcases his or her individual talents, while working in a unified rhythm to the festival’s soundtrack.
The synergistic interaction between the crew of artists, the festivalgoers, and the musical performances bridges the experiential divide between the entertainers and the audience. Members of the crowd assume participatory, rather than observational, roles as their caricatures are intermingled with those of the musicians throughout the 48-foot wide picture plane.
Centered on a different theme each year, the mural’s composition is loosely designed in advance, but evolves with jazz-like extemporization of over the course of the weekend. The live art project was originally conceived as a fundraiser for the Forecastle Foundation. During this, its fourth year, the design will incorporate imagery of the flora and fauna found in the Pine Mountain Wildlife Corridor, which is protected by the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust — one of the Forecastle Foundation’s philanthropic partners.
If you go to Forecastle: With a suggested donation of $20 to the Forecastle Foundation, your portrait can be included in the Forecastle mural. Proceeds benefit the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust initiative to preserve the Pine Mountain Wildlife Corridor. Digital posters of the finished mural will be available for download.
mixed media, mural, 2014
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At a Glance:
Name: Forecastle Artists
Hometown: Louisville, KY