Talent will put up mural this summer

TALENT — The town will get its first mural this summer, thanks to yearlong efforts of a leadership training group that raised money for its installation and got the city to change a rule that prohibited murals.

The Ford Institute Leadership Program group for Talent and Phoenix, made up of residents from both cities, also raised money to build a band shell in Phoenix's Blue Heron Park.

Talent residents will be invited to help paint the mural, which will be installed on the end of Advanced Business Teleservices at 304 W. Main St., across from the Camelot Theatre.

"The main theme is that it's people who create a community," said artist Karen Rycheck, mural designer and a member of the leadership group. Ideas for the mural were collected last summer at Talent's Friday evening market and from local organizations.

The mural will measure 11 by 31 feet and be composed of paint-by-number 4-by-8-foot panels.

The mural will portray a town scene, with families hiking and riding bikes, people walking dogs, a skateboarder, a horse and rider, cats, a goat and chickens. Included will be the 1899 Community Center and older buildings along Talent Avenue, with Wagner Butte, forests and farms shown in the distance.

"Some of the people are actually building or painting the buildings," said Rycheck. "There's no historical figures."

Painting will take place in the basement of the Community Center. Because space is limited, those interested are asked to send an email to talentmural@gmail.com. The first session is set for June 2.

Paint formulated specifically for murals, which resists fading and peeling, will be used on the smooth, sign-board material. A final, clear coating will allow for cleaning without damaging the artwork.

The Ford Institute Leadership Program provides intensive training that culminates in projects that benefit the community. The foundation will match money raised up to $5,000.

The local group has a budget of about $29,000 for both projects, including donated materials and labor and grant applications under consideration, and it has raised cash through a talent show in Phoenix and a jazz band performance in Talent.

"We have some portions of a high budget that we are willing and able to cut to make it happen," said member Carrie Prechtel.

Group members initially were told they'd need to change Talent's sign ordinance, which prohibited murals, at a cost of up to $1,000 after a lengthy process. But the city in November approved an amendment to the ordinance that allows the council's approval for each project.

The mural effort re-energized the Public Arts Advisory Committee. The City Council approved bylaws for the group at its May 2 meeting.

Construction of the Phoenix band shell is expected to start in July. When the projects are finished, the leadership group will disband.

"We will take what we have learned out into the community to work on things and help," said Prechtel. "We've all been working together for over a year and have created quite a network of friends and co-workers, so I would expect we will be in contact with each other."

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.

Share This Story