Clatskanie will soon be featuring a series of murals layered on buildings around town.
The artwork’s creative director is local artist Jeremy Furnish. The project is being conducted in conjunction with Furnish’s fellow Clatskanie Bloom Gallery board members.
Furnish said he started the mural project because he wanted to add beauty to his hometown of Clatskanie.
“Besides the obvious benefits of visually improving our community, the lesser obvious benefit would be the engagement, education, and involvement from the entire range of our community,” he said. “Restoring a sense of pride in the aesthetic of our town,” Furnish said.
Interested artists should submit their proposals, which can be a drawing, painting, photoshop image, or any other illustration of their vision to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15.
The winning design and artist will be announced in late June, with site preparation also being done the same month. The painting of the mural will be done from July to September of 2020. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash stipend. A jury of seven community members will select the winning design, Furnish said.
Furnish posted his Call to Artists April 1, on the Clatskanie Bloom Art Gallery Facebook group where interested artists can find more information.
The first building to receive the mural will be the Hazen Hardware Building.
“The Hazen Building is first because it is large, most visible, and most in need of a new look and we have willing participation from the building owner,” Furnish said. “Our vision for Hazen Hardware Building Mural is primarily to represent the community with something thoughtful and beautiful."
Artists who aren’t selected for the Hazen Hardware Building are not necessarily out of commission, however, Furnish said runners-up may be used on the next wall, located next to Radio Shack and Clatskanie skate park is also on the list for future mural opportunities.
The first mural project is made possible through a $2,000 matching grant from the Columbia County Cultural Coalition, according to Furnish. Those funds cover out-of-pocket expenses such as paint, brushes and other supplies. The Clatskanie Bloom Gallery will match the grant through in-kind donations, volunteer hours as well as donations through people in the community of Clatskanie.
To cover the $1,000 stipend of the winning artist, Furnish created a fundraiser on Facebook.
“I was so thankful to see the level of support that well exceeded the goal within 12 hours,” Furnish said.
The page for the fundraiser indicates $1,637 raised. Furnish said payout for the stipend could take up to 75 days from the end of the fundraiser, which was March 31, and payment will be made by the Clatskanie Bloom Gallery.
While the artist will design the mural, the painting of the mural itself will be done by volunteers, Furnish said. There are plans currently in the works to have the Clatskanie Middle/High School art class provide an opportunity for students to participate. There have also been a good amount of volunteers that have already come forward to help, Furnish said.
The mural will be produced in layers.
“Different volunteer groups will paint the different layers with direction from our team,” Furnish said. “When the rain lets up a bit, we’ll be out starting prep work on the wall. We will be calling on volunteers as the needs arise.”
Furnish hopes to launch the first mural painting in July.
Anyone interested in the progress of the murals in town can follow the project on www.clatskaniebloom/projects and on Facebook at Clatskanie Mural Project. Also look for progress of the murals in the Friday print editions of The Chief and online at thechiefnews.com.