By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Want to be the artist that helps design Keizer’s next public mural?
If so, remember this date: Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. at Keizer Civic Center.
That’s when the newly renamed Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC) will host a Call to Artists Mural Planning meeting.
KPAC members Jill Hagen and former Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher recently came up with the idea to have the city’s second public mural painted this summer along the long north wall of Town and Country Lanes, located at 3500 River Road North.
With the blessings of bowling alley owner Don Lebold, Hagen designed a preliminary design that will be about 140 feet long and nine feet tall. Hagen showed off illustrations of her general concept at this week’s KPAC meeting, complete with bowling balls near both ends.
“These are ones I’ve put in, the little bowling balls,” Hagen told fellow KPAC members.
Beth Melendy was among those appreciating the design.
“I love those bowling balls,” Melendy exclaimed.
Christopher noted the design could change, though one thing must remain.
“This could totally change when we have the artists here,” Christopher said. “Don really wanted a stream with jumping fish. If we could accommodate that, anything else we can do. We have a $2,500 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. It’s for a community tapestry. We’re trying to engage older kids in the background, and younger kids with the hands for iris flowers. There might be some other ideas in there.”
In general, older students – Christopher is working with art teachers at McNary High School – would do much of the background painting. The selected artists would mainly be working on inserts highlighting various design elements such as grapes, filberts, trees, snowflakes, fish, cherries, peaches, hops, strawberries and irises.
More details will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, including financial compensation for the selected artist(s). Designs have to be submitted to city hall by April 30. The plan is to have the mural done this summer.
Keizer’s first public mural was completed last year along the west wall of Keizer Florist on Chemawa Road. One advantage of the Town and Country Lanes location is the wall being used is much more visible to vehicles driving past.
“Sherwin-Williams has already said they will help us out with the paint,” Christopher said. “We’re giving artists the month of April to come back with a design. At our May meeting we’ll decide.”
Hagen emphasized her design is simply a rough draft.
“This is not done; it’s a general concept,” she said. “These are the general dimensions for these kinds of things.”
Rick Day was surprised Lebold didn’t insist on another design element.
“He didn’t ask for bowling pins?” Day asked.
Hagen confirmed that.
“He just asked for fish,” she said.
Christopher noted the OCF grant requires community members to be involved, hence the reliance on youth to.
“The thing was about bringing the whole community together to experience art,” she said.