Anyone who has ever visited the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry knows that it’s a playful environment. The Ann St. building boasts an indoor castle with a second floor of its own, a pint-sized Publix grocery store, and multiple other attractions tailored to meet the imaginative and educational needs of young children. A recent playful addition — one that quite literally stands out — is a brand new mural by international street artist Sergio Odeith. Odeith is a Portuguese graffiti artist and muralist known for his anamorphic style, which typically involves deliberate distortion of an image’s angles to create a desired effect.
Many of Odeith’s pieces including his newest at the museum are created using a central 90 degree angle and three panels: two walls and a “floor.” That structure paired with dimensional detail and realistic depiction of light sources and shadows make optical illusions emerge in Odeith’s work. Odeith’s eccentric scene of butterflies, colorful spheres, and a Rubik’s Cube at the museum was completed using acrylic paint, a medium not typically used in his craft. Most of Odeith’s commemorative street murals and graffiti are made using traditional spray paint.
According to the Children’s Museum, ventilation would have been a problem if Odeith used spray paint, so he chose the safest option. Charleston is one of only three American cities to which Odeith has contributed murals. The museum mural is the newest and smallest of several he has completed in the Holy City: a Great White Shark-themed piece in Mt. Pleasant and a collection of smaller pieces downtown. Odeith also has famous murals in Lexington, KY and Baton Rouge, LA.
Odeith started the mural on Tuesday morning and completed it Thursday afternoon. According to the Children’s Museum marketing manager McCown Griffin, visitors are having a blast posing with Odeith’s mural and seeing the scene pop in photos. The museum plans on placing a sign at the counter where visitors are supposed to stand and take photos in order to get the full effect of the mural’s anamorphic nature.
For the Children’s Museum, interaction is at the heart of play. “These new changes are really about making ourselves more accessible to the community,” says Griffin. “We try to change as kids change, too. [The mural was implemented] to make kids more able to play.”