Mark McBride’s mosaic posters raising funds for FBISF
It may have been a labor of love. But it was still time consuming work for Mark McBride and his team to go through 41,000 pictures, mostly of people on stage playing guitars, to find the 4,000 shots they ended up using for “The Stories behind the Songs,” a mosaic art collection that the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival is selling as a fundraiser for the school programs it runs through its foundation.
The mosaic art prints that were the end result are available as a 5-print set on the FBISF website for $45, including postage. It is worth noting, that thanks to McBride’s donation, 100 percent of that will go directly to the Frank Brown International Songwriters Foundation.
The pictures in the five mosaics represent the first 35 years of the fest.
McBride calls it a collaboration among photographers who worked together to create a true piece of songwriter and music history. Those photographers include Shelley Patterson, Tammy St. George, Damien Lamb, Tad Denson, Mark A. McBride and Dee Horton.
Cynthia Adams, Andy Haynes, Rusty Budde and Joe Gilchrist also helped McBride bring his project to fruition.
“Without the contributions of the photographers, there would not be a mosaic,’’ McBride said.
The owner of Playa Del Rio RV Park, McBride was already affiliated with the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival as a sponsoring host site. For the psst several years, he has also hosted a songwriters’ BBQ either at his RV park or the Flora-Bama Tent, depending on weather.
“When I got this place, I thought ‘why not do live music parties?’’’ McBride said. “This area is known for music and having so many different guitar players and different styles.”
With that in mind, McBride also sponsors songwriter nights at his RV park on Ole River throughout the year.
McBride said the more involved he became in the FBISF community, the more he wanted to help.
So he came up with the mosaic idea, a riff on an earlier project he created with graphic designer Tad Denson to mark a reunion of his college fraternity.
He said it was definitely time consuming, but also enjoyable, especially the time he spent listening to the stories behind the pictures provided by festival founder Joe Gilchrist.
“Joe was pulling out boxes of pictures from under his bed and he had an interesting and often hilarious story he could tell about most of the characters in the pictures.
“That’s where we got the oldest ones,’’ McBride said. “To have Joe give us these classic pics and then hear the stories about all the pickers and the people who made this fest makes this mosaic a history piece.’’
McBride said with parking and weather issues, he will probably move his annual BBQ for about 200 festival musicians and volunteers to the Flora-Bama tent. But he will continue to host songwriters’ concerts, and he has no plans to slow down his involvement with the fest.
“Because of this fest, I’ve met a lot of good folks and a lot of characters,’’ he said.