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This is a contributing entry for Heart of Downtown Charleston WV Public Art Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
Don't Tell Me This Town Ain't Go No Heart was a collaboration between Ian Bode and Brian Pickens. The fifty-five by twenty-five foot paint on brick mural celebrates Charleston's vibrant music and nightlife scene. It was created in conjunction with the fourteenth annual FestivALL event in 2018. The mural was painted on the back of Sam's Uptown Café and commissioned by establishment owners Paul and Julie Greco. Bode and Pickens exchanged preparatory sketches for several months before pulling all the disparate elements together and finalizing a design. The final version was projected onto the wall from fifty feet away and traced with markers. Over the course of a week, Bode and Pickens painted the mural while passerby and festival goers were encouraged to stop and chat, or just watch for a bit. The completed piece includes pop imagery and iconography commonly found in street art, but rendered in a bold and decisive manner. Themes of food and music dominate the work, though a purple unicorn requested by the Greco's daughter also peeks out at the viewer.

Bode (left) and Pickens (right) standing in front of the newly completed mural.

Graffiti, Mural, Art, Street art

Don't Tell Me This Town Ain't Got No Heart.

Window, Graffiti, Neighbourhood, Facade

Bode, Ian. Commission, Ian Bode Art. Accessed December 10th 2020.

“Don’t Tell Me This Town Ain’t Got No Heart” mural at Sam's, Charleston WV. Accessed December 10th 2020.

FestivALL Charleston to Kick Off 14th Year This Weekend, West Virginia Executive. June 14th 2018. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Pickens, Brian. 3rd Optics, Tumblr. June 25th 2018. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Tumblr. Accessed December 10, 2020.

Ian Bode Art. Accessed December 10, 2020.