Paul Barker Harley Clarke painting

Paul Barker art.jpg
Paul Barker art.jpg

Paul Barker Harley Clarke painting


Paul Barker created this beautiful rendition of Harley Clarke especially for the Save Harley Clarke campaign. With a $50 donation, you will get a high quality copy of this unique and timely work of art. Donations are very much appreciated and needed. Proceeds will help Save Harley Clarke referendum election fund!*

*Due to the nutty nature of the election season, it is likely that art will be delivered after Election Day. :)


The backstory of the commissioning of this piece is very interesting. Back in May 2018, when the demolition group first publicly appeared in front of City Council, they held up a large poster that had a print of a section of a mural that is on the wall in the District 65 building. The part of the mural that they showed was the Grosse Point Lighthouse, and children playing on the nearby beach. They stated that this mural was a perfect depiction of their “vision,” as the Harley Clarke house was not present. They used this art for their website as well, but in neither case did they credit the artist, nor had they asked him what his intention was when he painted the scene without Harley Clarke. A Harley Clarke supporter made the effort to find out who created the art in the D65 building (it wasn’t hard, there is a plaque on the wall), and called Paul Barker to find out what he thought about his art being used in this way. He disagreed strongly with his art being used this way, and offered to paint the house in on the mural, but thought that it might get a night watchman in trouble so decided against it. ;) On July 23, 2018, the night the City Council voted to move demolition forward, a statement from Paul Barker was read by another local artist and SHC supporter, Larry Lundy:

Mr. Barker’s statement: “Good evening all. My name is Paul Barker, I'm a freelance mural painter and proud resident of Alderwoman Fleming's Nifty Ninth Ward.

At a previous hearing, proponents of the destruction of the Harley Clarke Mansion showed you a long photo of part of my mural in the entrance hall of JEH depicting an idealized image of childhood in Evanston. It featured kids playing on a beach with the lighthouse in the distance. Because I did not add the nearby Harley Clarke Mansion, they seem to be implying that the artist felt the scene would be more idyllic without the mansion. That was not my intent at all.

I did not include the Dawes Mansion or the Willard house either. The subject matter was children, not architecture. I want to state my opposition to the destruction of beautiful things, especially beautiful, old things. I understand that finding a successful use for the mansion has not happened yet, but that does not mean it will never happen. My opposition to the wrecking ball solution is that it's irreversible, like cutting down a noble, old tree, or, to get really hyperbolic, murder! Please have the wisdom and far farsightedness not to murder this fine old house.

And to the careless proponents of the "deconstruction mindset", I say, if you're going to misuse my mural, at least give me some attribution.

Thank you,
Paul Barker