If you haven’t been to Seaside in the past year, you’ll notice something different as you walk around the community center during your next visit – the stunning mural located on the side of 25 Central Square. If you are not an architecture, art, or history buff, you might also find yourself pondering the meaning of this artwork and the identity of the piece’s focus, Vincent Scully. Perhaps after reading, you will have greater appreciation for a central figure in shaping the revolutionary design of Seaside and the man whose face is now a Seaside landmark and understand why Scully is deserving of such a great honor within our community!
The Inspiration – Vincent Scully
Born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1991, Vincent Scully enrolled at Yale University at just 16 years of age. He was Yale man through and through, earning a B.A. from there in 1940, a M.A. in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1949. It was after earning his masters that he discovered his true calling, teaching lectures to rooms packed full of students from the start. During his time there, his classes grew in notoriety, attracting some of the brightest young minds in architecture and regularly receiving a standing ovation at lecture’s end. He would even attract casual visitors with no ties to his classes, coming just to hear him speak! Throughout a career that spanned 50 years, he became a noted author of several influential publications as well as a Sterling Professor, the highest academic rank at Yale University.
Perhaps one of his most significant accomplishments was the influence he had on his students over the years, amassing a star-studded catalog of those who would go on to great fame including: Louis I. Kahn, Robert Venturi, Philip Johnson, Robert A.M. Stern, Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and many more. A few of these students, including Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Stern would go on to shape Seaside’s revolutionary New Urbanism concept and credit his influence as a driving inspiration. He was revered for his ideals that architectural style, urbanism, and the environment had an innate relationship that should be considered in architectural design. He also valued the connection that past architecture had in contemporary designs, all of which laid the foundation for the future work of his pupils.
The Artist – Gaia
A native of New York City, Gaia has become a rising star within the art community for his street art, which has received critical fame and significant museum showings. He has since started building a reputation for the murals that he has painted around the world in places like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Montreal, Richmond, Honolulu, Baltimore, Perth, Rome and New Dehli. These pieces have tended to focus on thought provoking topics, typically referencing history and sociology and located in lower socio-economic communities to spur growth and dialogue. His growing fame was culminated when he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Art & Style in 2015. The subject of his pieces, which highlight the impact that figures had within communities, naturally made the selection of Gaia to paint the Scully mural an easy one. “We are excited about Gaia depicting Scully in this larger-than-life mural, because he shares his artistic skills in capturing the essence of people who have helped shape the environment,” said architect and urbanist Dhiru Thadani.
Commissioned by the Town of Seaside to pay tribute to the man who had such an impact on the architects that shaped the community, the large purple mural stands in stark contrast to the all-white homes that the area is known for. Featuring Scully’s face prominently in the art piece, it is directly aligned with Gaia’s previous works intended to provoke discussions amongst observers. The piece has absolutely achieved the vision that the organizers had for the project with Seaside co-founder Robert Davis stating, “The project offers Seaside visitors a cultural and historical experience through the eyes of mural artist Gaia, and portrays the importance and impact Scully had on the town of Seaside.” The artist also pays tribute to one of Scully’s most influential texts, The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods: Greek Sacred Architecture, with the addition of a faint Acropolis in the background.
Next time you are in Seaside, be sure to walk near the square and admire this gorgeous landmark with a newfound respect for the man who helped to shape the neighborhood all around you. Whether you intend to stay in Seaside during your next stay or in any of 30A’s other breathtaking communities, we represent the most desirable vacation rentals in the area. Call (844) STAY-30A or (844) 782-9302, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our website here: http://exclusive30a.com/contact/. Plus, remember to follow us on Twitter, Instagram or “Like” the Exclusive 30A Facebook page for more information about the exciting things happening on 30A. We’d love to hear from you!