It’s hard to miss.
The giant purple wall in Seaside — right on the corner of Central Square and County Road 30A — now has a larger-than-life portrait of world-renowned architect Vincent Scully as depicted by popular street artist Andrew Pisacane, known as Gaia.
Scully, who died in November, was instrumental in inspiring the design of the town of Seaside to mirror his architectural style of New Urbanism. The Yale professor and respected architectural historian made several visits to Seaside over the years to share his knowledge through lecture series with visitors and local residents.
Dhiru Thadani, the Urbanist and architect who commissioned Gaia to paint the mural, said art, architecture and community are what Seaside is all about.
"Seaside is a soulful place that fosters community for all age and income groups,” Thadani said. “It is also a place that embraces and nurtures artists and their art. Hence, bringing Gaia to Seaside was inevitable. Vincent Scully’s influence is ever-present in Seaside, and the mural painted is an appropriate tribute to one of the greatest teachers ever to grace this planet."
As for the artist himself, Gaia has made a name for himself when it comes to urban art worldwide. He has created murals in every habitable continent and was listed in 2015 as Forbes 30 Under 30 in Art and Style.
When asked what drew him to Seaside, Gaia said he jumped at the chance to honor the late Vincent Scully, whose theories aligned well with his own.
“When I learned Vincent Scully had passed away, I knew I wanted to pay tribute to him,” Gaia said. “He was a teacher at Yale who inspired a generation of architects and designers to create the world’s first new urbanist town. This is a total dream come true for me to be accepted by architects and planners, rather than just be seen as a criminal who is a vandalizing the creations of architects and planners.”
Gaia added the New Urbanist movement — an urban design movement that promotes community life and environmentally friendly living spaces by making amenities and workplaces all within walking distance — melds directly into his art vision.
"New Urbanists see as it more as a holistic fashion and they get what I do," he said of his art. "It’s wonderful to be recognized for the theories that I align myself with, which took flight with the teachings of Vincent Scully, who clearly delineates the importance of architecture and place making as something that should put the context first and the individual style second.
"This is literally what I’ve been trying to do for eight years in the street art scene."