Americans memorialize those who have sacrificed their lives in a variety of ways. One man is making it easy to do it artistically.
A 20-by-25-foot memorial in Seattle to those who suffered in New York during Sept. 11 features a well-known photograph that reminds viewers of the strength of emergency personnel during that time. The image, originally taken by Thomas E. Franklin of the Bergen Record, was painted directly on the side of a building in October 2001 by John Tideman, an inventor based in Bothell, Wash. The process took 24 hours.
Tideman has developed a machine that can safely reproduce any image on a large surface. This computer-driven device, called an Automated Mural Imagery System, can paint a mural on any flat surface, including glass windows and wet plaster. Tideman used it to paint the well-publicized photo along a mural corridor just south of downtown Seattle.
In an industrial area that has been covered with graffiti and gang insignias, Tideman's mural remains undisturbed years after it was first painted, indicating the depth and strength of the image in the hearts of all Americans.
Now that pictures can be created on any surface with Tideman's fast, safe and inexpensive equipment, towns and cities have a better opportunity to honor heroes, display works of art or convey cultural expressions. Rather than conveying neglect or being an eyesore, blank walls can now bring expressions of life to a community.