Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mural project delayed by weather

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Staff Writer | 2/19/2014

Mother Nature has not recently painted a very pretty picture for the mural project in downtown Ottawa, organizers said.

“The third panel [of the mural] was supposed to go up [earlier this month], but we couldn’t do it because of the snow,” Becci Shisler said, referring to a recent storm that dumped 9 inches of snow on the community. “And it wasn’t just this storm. It seems like every time we plan something lately, it rains the whole weekend.”

Mother Nature has not recently painted a very pretty picture for the mural project in downtown Ottawa, organizers said.

“The third panel [of the mural] was supposed to go up [earlier this month], but we couldn’t do it because of the snow,” Becci Shisler said, referring to a recent storm that dumped 9 inches of snow on the community. “And it wasn’t just this storm. It seems like every time we plan something lately, it rains the whole weekend.”

Shisler, Ottawa Main Street Association program director, said the organization is taking the setbacks in stride. The problem, she said, was not with clearing snow in the park but rather in reaching the artist’s house in rural Franklin County.

The association in September 2012 commissioned local artist Scott Braden to paint the mural — consisting of four panels of various iconic Ottawa landmarks — to hang over Edward E. Haley Community Park, Second and Main streets, Ottawa. The first panel, depicting the B.D. Bennett Ice horse-drawn carriage, was put in place in February 2013.

Braden submitted the winning drawing for the historic-themed mural, which depicts five iconic Ottawa elements: a Bennett ice wagon, the Forest Park front entrance, the old fire station, a vintage piece of Warner Manufacturing Co. machinery and the Zellner building, which once stood on the site of Haley Park.

The third panel awaiting to be installed depicts a vintage fire truck, Shisler said.

Braden, who also has been involved in a project to paint electrical boxes downtown with colorful artwork as part of a community beautification project, is continuing to work on the final mural panels, Shisler said. The association still needs to raise about $4,000 to cover the projected $14,000 cost of materials and labor for the project, she said.

Braden and organizers said in fall 2012 they hoped to have all the panels painted and hung in place by January 2014, forming a large mural on the wall of the 205 S. Main St. building that defines the southern border of the park in Ottawa’s historic downtown. Uncooperative weather conditions, plus other art projects the association is focusing on for the downtown area, have accounted for some of the delay, Shisler said.

The mural probably is several months from completion, Shisler said. She expressed confidence the mural would be finished in 2014 and that the association would be able to raise the additional funds for the work.

“We are working with [Braden] to get it done,” Shisler said.

The association would like to have all the electric boxes painted by this spring, Shisler said. She said persons interested in painting the boxes should submit their prospective drawings to the association, which is collecting submissions through mid-March. A person submitting a winning drawing will receive $50 and get to paint one of the electric boxes downtown, Shisler said. The association will provide supplies for the work, she said.

A couple of finished examples include sunflowers painted on a utility box at Second and Hickory streets and a Native American tribal painting on a utility box at Redjacket and Main streets.

Persons interested in submitting a drawing or making a donation for the mural project or other Main Street artwork projects can call Shisler at (785) 242-2085.

comments powered by Disqus