What’s The Deal With The Art On The Side Of This Bangor School?
Have you ever seen something a million times but not really notice it? Then one day, as you're absent-mindedly staring out the window at that same thing, you realize you have no idea what you're looking at!
That happened to me this week.
I was sitting in my van, waiting in the afternoon pick-up line at the J.F. Doughty School in Bangor. Admittedly, I was totally zoning out.
My 5 year old asked from the back seat: "Mom, why does that girl have a tail?"
Needless to say, that question snapped me back to the moment, and I searched around the school yard for a girl with a tail.
Not seeing one (of course) I asked my daughter what is was that she was looking at.
She replied "the school wall."
And as I looked up at the side of the building, sure enough, I could see it.
"Huh," I thought to myself. That does look a little strange.
Then she asked me "Why is that boy trying to hide under that girl's skirt in the other picture? Or is that a horse-person? (Centaur!)"
Once again, I could totally see why she was asking that question. It kind of does look like that...even to someone who is not 5.
That got me wondering: Who was the artist that created this piece? What was the history behind these images? Where did the idea come from? When was it put up? And how did no one at that time step back to review the art and not see what my 5 year old did? (I will, from this day forward, only ever see a centaur when I look at that image!)
Out of curiosity, I asked her to describe what she thought was happening in the other pictures.
She said this one was of boys trying to punch each other.
And she said in this one that the teacher was trying to poke the first kid in the head for stealing all of the student's chairs!
Art; it truly is open to interpretation. And while I do think it is absolutely impressive and entirely better than anything I could come up with (I mean no disrespect whatsoever towards this piece or whomever came up with it) it is even more interesting to me now, seeing it through the eyes of my child.
Naturally, as any curious person would, I asked the internet if they could tell me more about this. And I can tell you, I learned a lot. Quite a few people not only had their own interpretation of the piece, but remembered when it was installed!
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