ST. LOUIS ROAD TRIP: 9th and Final Entry about encountering unexpected places


Graffiti under the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri

Travelogue Endnote: After I had finished photographing the MacArthur Bridge with Buffalo Robe, we resumed driving to the river boat dock, and that is when I noticed a concrete wall covered with graffiti art. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The falling rain saturated the colours and I had to stop and record the site. (N38 37.369 W90 11.003)

I learned afterwards that the city had yearly open calls to graffiti artists around the world, to add their work to the concrete flood wall. I drove along the wall, and looked to gone for over a mile. It was overwhelming because each wall segment had more and more interesting pieces to photograph.

I may have followed the wall to the end, but a suspicious pickup truck began following us, and I decided I had enough images and continued to our destination. As exciting as it was photographing the earth mounds and monuments I had selected, it was just as exciting to discover an unexpected site like this.

This image brought my thoughts back to the earlier images I posted of the Shoe Shine storefront in Buffalo, New York and how exciting it was to end up in an unexpected and somewhat scary place. When I posted the Shoe Shine images before leaving on this road trip, I had no idea that I would find the same sense of excitement I felt in the early 1980s.

That is what I love about being a visual artist, you can never be too old to feel young again.


This post is part of a series on my long awaited road trip to St. Louis, Missouri to study the
Pre-Contact Mississippian earth mounds and ancient Indigenous cultures. 

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