Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Community Bridge on Carroll Creek, Frederick, Maryland

The Community Bridge is an art project that started with the simple idea of painting a plain bridge to make it look like a brick bridge, a style known as trompe l'oeil, French for fool the eye.

Just an ordinary bridge, right?

From a distance it doesn't look impressive because it is so well done. At closer inspection, it is clearly painted on but the work is exquisite.

Real lily pads and the start of the bridge

L by a "statue"

Dry bird bath

The bridge and area is decorated with several medallions featuring subjects that were suggested by locals who were asked, "What object represents the spirit of community to you?".

Frederick, town of spires!

Lincoln penny

Breastfeeding in public!

People intertwined, taken from the Book of Kells--what could be more communal?

A guide explains the symbolism intended, though I couldn't find the breastfeeding on the guide. Click on the picture below to enlarge it.

Explanation of the symbols and features

One especially interesting medallion is Archangel. Not only does the name pun on the arch of the bridge, but it also looks wrong.

Archangel from the wrong angle, i.e. looking straight on

The artist, Cochran, intended it to be seen from a window in the nearby Delaplaine Visual Arts Center. The Center was closed when we were there but standing on a stone fence under the window just about gives the right perspective on the painting.

Archangel from the right angle

The trompe l'oeil style is imitated all over the town with some works more convincing than others.

Man on the street

Earthbound (the whole window is a painting, not just the angel inside!)

Big news downtown!

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