Global Conferential Tales III: Put Out the Flags & Books & Talk Galore
Karl Schutz' Flag Ceremony Gets The Conference Rolling
The Global Association President, Dr Karl Schuutz, is well known for his desire for flag waving at the start of each biennial Conference and he was not to be disappointed; although the manner of its happening certainly surprised him. Host towns were invited to wave their state flags towards the Firth of Forth and to camera from the balcony of The Prestoungrange Gothenburg as well as to affix them later to the walls of the Thomas Nelson Conference Suite. The balcony scenes also inspired local artist Joyce Forrester to put brush to paper.
Thought we were brush artists, but everyone's got writing fever
It is normally Jim Prigoff's prorogative to publish a new book and share it both in print and on slides with each Conference. And he was, we are delighted to report, once again at the Conference with up to the minute illustrations of the world murals explosion.
But the conference also saw the launch of Karl Schutz' long-awaited book, Murals Magic, beautifully written and crafted by Donna Dash. It includes pictures many of us have wondered about of the originally inspiring Romanian Church Murals - [shown below] which scarcely disappoint.
Kevin Bruce has also completed the long awaited volume on John Pugh, Beyond Trompe L'Oeil. That title was on offer to the wide audience of his fans across the world.
Finally, Prestonpans, not to be outdone, had produced and launched no less than two new books and two calendars. The books reported the nine year historical resaerch programme in 250,000 words and the Murals and Art Treasues thus far; the 2007 calendars captured the Gothenburg and the town itself. [These are all on sale at the Boutique linked here]
Beyond The Flags and The Books ... a 'Quaker Prayer' Meeting was held
The conference design surrounding the several keynote events provided ample opportunities to listen and learn, share and compare, with fellow town activities - successes and failures; wild wow ideas and routines for getting things done. The format deliberately adopted was, respectfully, that of the Quaker Prayer Meeting where each session gave every town the opportunity to contribute.
The first session focussed on the omnipresent challenges of Sustainability; and the second at the Tourism-magnetic phenomena of Canadian Mural Routes and CalPAMS . In both these latter instances their founding leaders Karin Eaton and Bill Drennan were present and shared their successes and dreams for the future.
There were wholly open ended contributions from North America, from Australasia and Europe. This gave John Dyer the chance to tell more about Sheffield's unique Annual Murals Fest and 2008 Conference and Invergordon the occasion as the newest town in Scotland to tell of their incubation and ask for all the best wisdom available.
Evaluation Designs from Tim Hall
The final Quaker Session was led by Dr Tim Hall, who has spent the past two years as The Arts Festival Scholar conducting a pilot evaluative study in Prestonpans to create robust measures of success and failure in murals communities. His Interim Report was circulated at the outset of the Conference so that he could focus on how to evolve the analyses to provide international comparisons by 2008.
The significance of this initial study was not missed by guests at the Conference. All agreed that progress in this area would be of inestimable benefit as they sought community funding and national investment in arts programmes.
Published Date: August 15th 2006