Arts & Culture Maplewood Towns

Lowering the July 4 Flag Project

Maplewood 4th of July Community Art Project really comes together for 2014.
Maplewood 4th of July Community Art Project really comes together for 2014.

The large American flag multi-media art project gracing the backstop at Valley and Oakview in Maplewood’s Memorial Park will be coming down this morning.

Around 10 a.m., organizers and artists will gather to toast the project and start removing the 96 tiles that make up the flag.

The flag is the brainchild of local artist Benjamin John Kaufman who creates a community art project for the Maplewood 4th of July festivities each year.

While from a distance the project reads as a one piece of art, a close-up viewing reveals 96 individual art works — some featuring portraits, balloons, fruits, feathers, dishware and a plastic dinosaur.

This year’s community art project was so successful that Kaufman hopes to replicate it again next year. “I have been thinking I would like to  raise the flag again next year as part of a 2015 project to make a second flag on  another back stop,” Kaufman wrote in an email to artist participants. Kaufman said he will store the tiles that have weathered well and dispose of those that are in “bad shape.” Artists who want to collect their tiles have been asked to contact Kaufman.

IMG_0621IMG_0620IMG_0619IMG_0618IMG_0617IMG_0616IMG_0615IMG_0614IMG_0613IMG_0612IMG_061110529498_10204147050093400_1882453009_n10533457_10204147050173402_2034887864_nThe project was sponsored by 1978 Art Gallery and VFW Post 10120. Read more about it here.

Thanks to Howard Gilman and Mikel Frank for some of the photos featured here.

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