By Rosalie Tirella
Here is the Denholm’s Building on Main Street crying out for a mural. Seems we will be getting one as the City of Worcester conducts a nation-wide search for the perfect painter/graffiti artist.
Why bother searching when you have a great painter under yer nose?!
His tag is PITO and 12 years ago he worked for INCITY TIMES while creating great art all over Worcester walls. He had gone legit and was getting paid to do projects, most notably the huge cow jumping over the moon mural on the side of the Corner Grille on Pleasant Street. PITO also created the cool faces on the side of the now gone JAVA HUT. Pito is Latino, a bit taciturn … an enigma. All artist. Years ago I thought our PITO would take off big time. He was difficult but wonderful. You put up with the games cuz he was young, you knew he had some heavy emotional baggage and his murals were fucking amazing.
Sad to say PITO seemed to disappear from the Woo scene … only to reappear several years later at a local tattoo shop.
PITO, I screamed when I saw my young friend in the city. He didn’t look happy. I guessed it was because he wasn’t doing his art.
I jumped right in with, I’m gonna help you PITO. I am gonna call the city and see if you can get a grant, see if you can get a project. Leave everything to me.
After I left the tattoo shop I called city hall and talked with the city’s culture czar – I don’t remember if it was Erin. I told the woman all about PITO, that he was gifted and asked: Could he create some art for the city?
The woman was polite but detached. A strictly by-the-books kinda lady. The kind of emotionally constipated bureaucrat Worcester City Hall is filled with. She said PITO would have to fill out a grant application. Then folks would look at the application –
Just go out and look at his art! I said. You’ll see it all over the city. Meet PITO!
I called PITO and gave him the info. He didn’t seem thrilled with the idea of filling out a lot of paperwork.
A month later I got back in touch with him. Seems my hunch was spot on. He told me softly that the application form had to be filled out, lots of written work.
I sighed. A lot of street artists aren’t comfortable with writing essays, etc. And this Latino kid may not have had the writing skills of a college educated kid. He just let the opportunity slide ..
. And, of course, he wasn’t good at the political side of things. Actually, kinda rebellious. And he wasn’t connected in any way ….
Thank you, City of Worcester!! Because the arts expert couldn’t get off her ass and leave her office and just SEE PITO’S work, we missed out on some great art for Woo!
THIS TIME AROUND LET’S:
* nurture our home grown artists! Let’s hire and work with them!
* Let’s reach out to street artists – kids that may not have gone to art school but are super talented! Let’s give them scholarships to WAM! Let’s get them working in our city!
* Let’s help folks who may struggle with writing. Let’s help them fill out applications/do paper work.
* Let’s have an arts person who speaks Spanish and Vietnamese and can do out reach into these communities to find Woo’s artists!
* Let’s get beyond the toxic, back-biting clique that prevents new voices or different voices from being heard! Let’s REACH OUT IN UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO UNCONVENTIONAL PEOPLE!