Window initiative helps damaged businesses

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Local artists have started their project of replacing missing and broken windows with pieces of art.  Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas spearheaded the idea earlier this year. After the collaborative efforts of several people in the community, the Selma One Hour Cleaners’ windows have been replaced.

“With all of these bare windows, all we’re saying is that we can put something in there that will give it a whole new look,” Lucas said. “Plus, it will help keep the rain from rotting the buildings down.”

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The windows have since garnered a lot of attention from the community.

“I’ve had people walk up to me and look at that project and say, ‘What were you thinking to do that?’” he said.

Growing up with his grandparents and witnessing them hang their clothes on the clothing lines was Lucas’  inspiration for the window art for the cleaners.

Each windowpane has old jeans and shorts with wire and multiple colors throughout the design.

“The red that comes down through [the painting] is the blood of the ancestors,” he said. “The angels [in the painting] have on blue jeans.” 

Aside from making the buildings more appealing, it was important to the team that the artwork fits the building.

“Each time we do a building we do a little research on the building to make the pieces fit the building,” he said. “If you look at it that’s the perfect piece to put in a cleaners.”

Lucas said the art was a collaborative effort, and each person had their own input for the project.

“I’m not truly in control of [the art], but I can show them how to do it without struggling with it,” Lucas said. “It’s kind of like a pizza, everyone will get their slice in there.”

The art shows the growth, beauty, history and potential of the community, not what is lacking.

“When tourists come through this town, they’re not gonna see it falling down. They are gonna see it growing,” he said.

The next few projects will be on two buildings on Lauderdale Street and the Harmony Club on Water Ave.

“It’s not about me. It’s about the family of people that can get along with each other and do this together,” he said.