Jill Hagen (right), who is leading the next Keizer public mural project, talks to a roomful of artists at the Keizer Civic Center about the project on Dec. 2. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Jill Hagen (right), who is leading the next Keizer public mural project, talks to a roomful of artists at the Keizer Civic Center about the project on Dec. 2. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Have a desire to paint a fire truck on a public mural?

Or how about a marching band?

Those are two of several images still available for next summer’s second Keizer public mural, which will be going on the north wall at Town & Country Lanes. The wall was recently primered and directs those interested to the city website (www.keizer.org) for more information.

The mural, a project being led by Keizer Public Arts Commission member Jill Hagen, got a boost Dec. 2 as Hagen held a meeting with interested artists. About 25 people attended. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road NE.

Lore Christopher, the KPAC chair, gave a brief introduction of the committee and thanked Don Lebold, the Town & Country owner who was in attendance.

“Don graciously gave us the side of his building,” Christopher said. “I wanted the mural to be reflective of the community.”

Actual work at the building is expected to start in May, but pre-work will be done long before that.

“We’re not going to wait until May,” Hagen said. “We’re going to start now.”

Hagen introduced several of the artists who have pledged to help with the mural and to help community members with their painting.

“This group has tremendous assets and abilities,” Hagen said. “This is our group we can turn to for help. You don’t have to be a skilled artist to do what we’re doing.”

According to Hagen, a healthy public art program is a good sign.

“That’s the first indicator your community is doing well,” she said. “Art helps us feel better. There’s no end to what the benefit of having artwork is.”

Hagen noted the wall being used is 140 feet long, with painting to be done in stages. Sherwin-Williams will be providing all of the paint and supplies. Grid work will be done to give an idea how images will be transferred onto the wall, to be followed by projection work. The bricks along the wall will help with the gridding.

“This thing is for amateurs and professionals, young and old, skilled and non-skilled,” Hagen said.

Artists won’t necessarily be doing an entire piece.

“Say you’ve been working on something for 30 minutes,” Hagen said. “Then you’ll put down your stuff, move down one space and work on the next one. That way your uniqueness gets spread around.”

After the sky is painted, buildings and trees will be painted, followed by Iris Festival Parade images and parade spectators. Images by children will be done last.

“We’re going to get lots of kids to put their hands up there,” Hagen said. “We’re looking for someone to work with the children.”

Parade images include the pet parade, McNary High School band, the Keizer Fire District’s antique truck, the Town & Country float, a police car, color guard, a couple of small cars, a juggler, an antique car, rodeo horses, Native Americans, the Volcanoes float, Keizer CERT, Mexican horses and a clown.

“Faces will all be flesh colored,” Hagen said. “We are going to be selling portraits to the community for $200. We won’t have Hitler or anyone awful.”

Several of the images were not selected by artists attending last week’s meeting including CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), the Volcanoes float, the KFD fire truck, the clown, the marching band and small cars.

Wendy Lusby was among those pledging to help community members.

“I would be willing to help some people if they need it,” Lusby said. “There will be people working on this that may need instruction. I would be willing to help. Not everyone working on this has to be an artist by any means.”