Fourteen artists submitted 20 mural art pieces with a message geared toward raising our political consciousness with the hopes of making our world a better place. The winning piece, titled, “Grow #7”, was painted on the side of the building at 120 North Main Street, home of Green Door Gallery and Wheatgrass Saloon.
“There is nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.” ~ Banksy
Parker Beckley’s Grow #7 is the piece that was chosen by a panel of local judges. Of his work, Parker says: “I work with local farms and producers constantly. I believe many of the global problems we face today have at least one root of their solution in food. Something we all do multiple times each day, we truly are what we eat and that impact shouldn’t be taken for granted. I think it’s incredibly important in this age for artists and growers to work together to inform, inspire and educate those around that even our most simple of daily choices affect systems far beyond our individual selves. The parallels of art and farming range far and wide, but at their core they both require immense amounts of patience and dedication. Technique and skill are necessary but there are also forces we can’t control. At times both farming and art making require at least a bit of blind faith. The way to a successful harvest is the continued work and care, day after day, learning and growing as you go.”
Parker Beckley is a working artist in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of the University of Montana’s Fine Arts program with an emphasis in painting and photography, Parker now finds himself working in a countless array of mediums. From graphic design, animation, sculpture/3D to street art, printmaking, event orientated performances, on and on, his mediums shift to match the desired intent of each body of work. Parker Beckley on street art: “I think part of the beauty of street art is in its tendency to be overlooked and ignored by many, and the almost certainty of its impermanence. The walls will be painted over, that brief moment in time disappearing forever. Sometimes the messages are loud and to the point while others capture these quiet moments and thoughts in the most silent corners and alleyways. The process of hand cutting intricate stencils and repeated spraying leads to a fairly quick and natural deterioration of the stencils themselves, in a way guaranteeing their relatively short lifespans. I’ve been creating stencils for over a decade now and still learn new techniques and ideas every time I create. Street art has this special relationship in that it is tied directly to its environment, the statement and context can change dramatically based on the location they are placed in.
“To younger artists I would say that I hate seeing bad street art, especially bad street art placed in seemingly pointless places (garbage tags thrown up on the side of small mom and pop shops, pointless vandalism, etc.) I don’t see the point in breaking the law and risk getting caught unless you really, really have something pertinent to share. It’s often pretty easy to get permission if you’ve put the time in to develop your craft. As with anything.”