By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Keizer’s next public mural will not be done next month.
Former Mayor Lore Christopher, chair of the Keizer Public Arts Commission, has long been pushing for the mural, going up on the long north wall at Town & Country Lanes, to be done this fall.
However, realities pushed the timeline back. A signed contract between the city and Don Lebold, owner of the bowling alley, needed to be in place before any work was done on the building. Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, said at Tuesday’s KPAC meeting that contract wasn’t sent to Lebold until this week.
“When the contract is in place, we can move forward with the prepping,” Brown said. “That is the key or the gate.”
Christopher said once the wall is prepped with primer and any necessary repairs are made, a teaser will be put up about the upcoming project.
“It’s for the mural that’s coming next summer,” she said.
Commissioners discussed what the exact wording of the teaser should be.
“We talked about something that would make people inquisitive,” Rick Day said, referring to previous meetings. “Considering recent events (at Town & Country), maybe keep it simple, like mural is coming.”
Commissioners and Brown spent a while coming up with the wording before finally agreeing on “Join Keizer’s mural project 2016,” with the city’s web address (www.keizer.org) underneath it. Information will be put on the website explaining the project.
Day noted he will be making some repairs to the wall next week to get it ready for primer. The wall will also be pressure washed.
“It will sit there and encourage people to look at it,” Jill Hagen said. “We won’t start putting the mural on until the spring.”
With the wording decided, Hagen then explained her updated conceptual drawing for the mural and put up a chart listing who will do what steps when. The mural is meant to depict the Keizer Iris Festival Parade.
The drawing incorporated images commissioners agreed last month should be included since they were deemed to best represent the parade: pet parade, color guard, antique fire truck, the McNary High School band, rodeo queens, classic cars, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes float with mascot Crater, Spanish prancing horses and a flower box float. Police, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and clowns will be interspersed throughout the mural.
There will also be various store fronts depicted and murals of all six Keizer mayors to date.
“This is great,” Christopher said of Hagen’s sketch.
Hagen emphasized the need for participation.
“I have a number of artists in the community already willing to do it,” she said. “This is a community project. I want the community to be involved. I will be calling nine or 10 people to help out.”
Hagen gave a rough updated timeline for the project.
“This will be completed next July,” Hagen said. “Hopefully we can start a call to artists in February, then do some of the base painting in March.”
Christopher said another big recent community project has convinced her this can be done with community members.
“After the experience with the Big Toy, I would say this could totally work,” Christopher said.
Day said he loved the concept, which will be stretched over the long bowling alley wall previously estimated by Christopher to be 140 feet wide.
“This is fantastic,” Day said.