Painter and performer Barbara Romain believes people have a common cultural ground that frequently goes unexplored: mythology.
"A lot of symbols and mythological figures in one culture correspond to some in another," said Romain. "Marking on walls, expressing things symbolically, is a universal impulse. It goes back to cave paintings."
To bring together people of various backgrounds, Romain is staging a daylong mural-painting party Saturday called "Whose Myth Are Youse With?" at the Watts Towers Arts Center Gallery. The opening installation of the project on Sunday will be accompanied by musical and spoken-word performances led by Romain's brother, saxophonist and poet Elliot Levin.
The title of the event is taken from a jazz lyric by Levin that Romain said inspired her. Students from Art Options, an art program for inner-city teen-agers that Romain directs with artist Mira-Lani, will read from texts written for the project.
Romain is encouraging people of all artistic abilities to help paint, as well as bring instruments to the Sunday performance and play-along.
"Whose Myth Are Youse With?" at the Watts Towers Art Center Gallery, 1727 E. 107th St.; mural painting Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; performance and opening reception Sunday 2 to 5 p.m.; admission free; (213) 483-6311.