"To create a design that would especially inspire a younger generation of viewers."
We envision an arts & culture hub in Downtown Concord. Todos Santos Plaza and the surrounding area filled with music, food, art, and experiences. A vibrant place for people to come together, to gather with friends and family. We're not the only ones with this vision. With enthusiastic support from the City of Concord, the team at Visit Concord, local business owners and community members, we've been able to bring this vision to life. Johnny Brenden, owner of Brenden Theatres, is one of those important supporters. Mr. Brenden is a proponent of public art for the benefit of the community and not only contributed to our arts & culture project, Creative Concord, he's also made this massive mural project possible with a privately funded grant from the Brenden Mann Foundation to our nonprofit arts organization, Three Thirty Three Arts. The purpose of this project was to continue to build upon the portfolio of public mural art recently installed during Creative Concord in June 2022 and create a design that would especially inspire a younger generation of viewers, giving them a sense of pride and belonging in the community. Our team worked closely with Johnny to develop the art direction of the mural and, once we had the direction, we knew there would be no better artist to design the artwork than John Horton.
"Producing public art is about selecting art that fits the zeitgeist of the period and place."
The positive results of public art programming has been extensively researched and is undeniably essential for the well-being of communities. Producing public art is about selecting art that fits the zeitgeist (spirit and mood) of the period and place. We carefully consider the set and setting of an environment as we're developing public art projects. Of course art is subjective, so for every piece of public art some may like, inevitably, others will not. The positive net effect and project goals are what we discuss with our partners as we work through the development process.
This mural project at Brenden Concord Theatre was a big one and now, not just a favorite of ours, but amongst the most notable public artworks in the area. Artists typically prefer not to explain their work so the viewer can draw their own conclusions; however, there is always intention in their work and a narrative for the truly curious. The mural designed by John Horton is a fusion of fine art with influences by Mark Rothko and Franz Kline as well as influences of famed comic illustrators such as Frank Miller and Katsuhiro Ôtomo, who created the famous Akira manga series (manga is the word used for comics published in Japan). This new public artwork facing Willow Pass Road is just that, a giant illustration torn from the pages of a manga novel showcasing adventure, danger, and hope, done as a tribute to illustrators of comic books that continue to influence generations through their art. The color palette of black, white, and red adds drama and clarity to the imagery. Rendered as highbrow gallery-quality art with installation assistance from master muralist Hyde, this artwork is a true showstopper.