Allen (Big Al) Carter, who is among the biggest, fastest, most ebullient painters in this city, has just placed a mural in the middle of the art strip of Seventh Street NW. "Man Feeding Poor Man" is 25 feet wide and more than 10 feet high. He did it in two days.
It shows a good Samaritan, the poor man he is feeding and assorted other characters, all dressed in flowing robes, who watch, or kneel to pray. The landscape that surrounds them, with its grids and arcs and cartooned trees, seems part abstract and yet biblical. Painters in this city tend to serve the cool. Carter tends to like the hot, the vigorous, the bold; the colors he has used here, however, all thinned with white enamel, call to mind the tender ones, the pale greens and pinks, of Washington in spring.
Big Al Carter taught for 10 years in the public schools of Arlington. "In winter, on my way to work, every day I'd stare at the street people on the grates. They seemed so cold, so hungry. That gets next to you. I thought they should be fed." The Friends of the Washington Project for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities helped pay for Carter's mural. The Lenkin Co. donated the mural's Masonite panels. The work has been installed beside the Bag Mart, between Lansburgh's and the galleries at 406 Seventh St. NW.