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Back in Antwerp for Mural 4

OSCARE... When I completed Mural 2, there was a dedication ceremony to thank the artists who decorated the refugee center. The founder of Zenith gave a speech in English with the most beautiful French accent. (I love English spoken with a French accent.) A nasty little Welshman gave a forgettable talk. And, I broke the ice with the opening speech.

MARTIN

My speech was short, to the point, and humorous. My English had to be translated into Dutch as I spoke. But, I wanted people to enjoy it no matter what language they understood. I explained how pleased I was that this mural project just fell into my lap. I had looked for community service projects in Antwerp. But, because I didn't speak Dutch, it was not an easy task. I tried. I failed. That received the chuckle I wanted.

MARTIN

It also caught the attention of Vivianne, who understood completely the problems I faced with English in a world of Dutch speakers. But, she also spoke Dutch and could make connections for me that were otherwise impossible to find. And, she already knew of Oscare, a burn center, that would send me back to the wall, again.

MARTIN

The mural at Oscare (their website) was twelve yards along a curved wall. (That cute little photo at the top of the page just doesn't really show how long those twelve yards really were.) The center had an educational video depicting nine situations in the home where people could get burned. I put each of those situations into the mural, adding a healthy dose of my kid-friendly cartoons. A wide range of people came to help with the project. There were former students and coworkers from school; patients, parents and siblings from Oscare; and employees from the center including the director and main surgeon.

MARTIN

My personal favorite painter was the five year old patient who came for a session with a specialist. Before leaving, she and her father sat down on the floor to paint a section of the wall.

As things so often do, one good thing leads to another. The director of Oscare loved my work that it lead to a "Smeer" campaign. No, not a smear campaign. To get the full scoop, read on.

MARTIN

Special thanks must go to Winsor & Newton. They donated paint for the mural at Oscare. It's great to have help and be appreciated.
Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.