Monday, December 29, 2008

Public History Mural: The Persico Boys


Dated 1994, a series of "snapshot" images mimic a large photo album mounted on some walls downtown, probably organized by the county museum staff of that time. Various local painters were given photographs of local personalities of note to create these large boards for display. This one shows two of the Persico men in their childhood on trick ponies they rode in parades and at rodeos. The Persico family has been in Little Lake Valley for many generations.

The spirit of this public art project exemplifies the movement to "public history" that arose around the 1970s and 80s. By engaging local artists, expressing the life of local individuals, and placing the results in high foot traffic locations out in the community, it is definitive of people presenting their own history stories to tell one another, and is strongly influenced by Studs Terkel and his interest in the lives of everyday people rather than just the generals and senators and captains of industry.

10 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. What a clever idea.

JM said...

This is a very interesting initiative!

Sara said...

Hi dear Elaine
Sorry that I can not to visit here as much as before.I am so busy with my lessons.
Merry Xmas with few days delay!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

It's nice to see a mural unmolested by taggers.

Laurie said...

I love this combination of history and art. (And don't get me started on my love of Studs Turkel.)

Hilda said...

I like that.

Virginia said...

Oh this is such a great thing for your community. wish our city could do this. Bravo Willits!!!
V
PS I'm on for theme day if I could just decide.....

USelaine said...

Abe and JM - It seems like something that could be done in any small community.

Sara - Season's greetings to you too. I loved your Yalda melon. Don't worry, your studies are the important thing to do.

PA - We get some graffiti, but these are clean so far.

Laurie - I know he was an inspiration to many, especially oral history recorders.

Hilda and V - I think Birmingham and Manila might be too big for the ordinary people approach, but where you have city heroes done up in statues, we have this.

Thanks for coming around, all!

Kym said...

I'd never seen this before. I love the idea of bringing history of everyday people into modern everyday life--not just museums. Sounds like Ernie's blog!

Anonymous said...

Interesteing you posted this picture of the boys the day their mother Flornece Persico passed away at age 99. They are a wonderful Family and really make Willits a special place to LIVE!