DrawingBoardWeekly.com - published by The Drawing Board Art Supplies in Downtown Corvallis

Mural Project: Corvallis

We believe in public art, especially murals. The Drawing Board sponsored a mural in Downtown Corvallis. It was painted by Ben Jay, a Corvallis native, in Summer 2013.

Mural Project in the News!

Check out this front-page article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times when the project was announced, and this front-page article when the mural was finished. It tells the whole story!

The Location

The new was painted over an old mural on the alley between 2nd and 3rd St. on Monroe Ave. in Corvallis. The old mural was painted 15 years ago by children as part of Corvallis Parks & Recreation's Youth Volunteer Corps. The wall is outside the home office of the Corvallis Environmental Center and is owned by Squirrel's Tavern.

Mural Project: Before

This old mural was faded and cracked, but it is highly visible. You may have seen it on your way to the Saturday Farmers' Market, or on your way into downtown from Oregon State campus. The wall was so visible, a new mural there would get everyone about having more art in town.

The Artist: Ben Jay

The Drawing Board commissioned Corvallis native Ben Jay to paint the new mural. Ben's specialty: large-scale portraits and landscapes, painting free-hand with aerosol acrylic (spraypaint). His work has shown locally at Cloud 9, Bombs Away Cafe, and The Majestic Theatre.

Here are some examples of Ben's intricate, street-art-inspired style:

Mural Project: Ben Jay, Artist

Mural Project: Ben Jay, Artist

Mural Project: Ben Jay, Artist

Ben Jay has also painted murals on commission in California, Tennessee, Texas, and here in Corvallis. See more of his work at his Tumblr art blog. And check out this newspaper feature about a mural he painted on a bus for Pastors for Peace.

Ben's art tool of choice is Montana brand spraypaints, which are available in hundreds of powerful colors by special order at The Drawing Board.
(See: Featured Products)

The Process: A Community Effort

Starting in September 2012, The Drawing Board approached the Corvallis Environmental Center and Squirrel's Tavern with the idea to replace the weathered mural with a bold new one, with materials that will resist fading. Then, with permission lined up, we contacted the artist Ben Jay, and he was on board.

The Drawing Board partnered with the Corvallis Arts Center to apply for grant funding for public art. The Mural Project won a $500 grant from the Benton County Cultural Coalition, and we are now seeking further sources of funding from community members who want to see this piece of public art become a reality.

Logo: Squirrel's Tavern

Squirrel's Tavern

An institution in Corvallis, this classic pub supports local arts and has an eclectic collection of vintage gig posters and knick-nacks. And they serve delicious beer. Squirrel's owner Greg Little also owns the whole building and gave permission to The Drawing Board to paint a mural on its back wall.

Logo: Benton County Cultural Coalition

The Arts Center, Corvallis

The anchor non-profit for visual arts in Corvallis and Benton County. The Arts Center is dedicated to integrating the arts into community life, and creating opportunities for every citizen to participate in art. One such opportunity: partnering with local for-profit businesses to help pursue non-profit grant funding for public art projects. The Arts Center turns 50 this year. theartscenter.net

Logo: Benton County Cultural Coalition

Benton County Cultural Coalition

Established in 2004 by the Benton County Board of Commissioners, the BCCC is responsible for distributing funds provided by the Oregon Cultural Trust in accordance with state guidelines. Grants support projects in the Arts, Humanities and Heritage. www.bentonculture.org

Logo: Corvallis Environmental Center

Corvallis Environmental Center

Founded in 1994, and currently housed on the other side of the mural wall, the Corvallis Environmental Center supports several grassroots community organizations. It's mission is to educate, engage, and inspire people to get involved in creating a healthy, sustainable community. www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org

We had a Fundraiser Art Show! (It was awesome.)

On February 21, The Drawing Board hosted a Fundraiser Art Show at The Majestic Theatre. Over 50 community members attended and donated to the Mural Project. Big Thank You's to The Majestic Theatre, and to Einstein Bros. Bagels for providing free snacks, KBVR 88.7fm and Truss Media for providing music, and Henderson's Copy Center for printing the commemorative posters and postcards we were trading for donations. It was a fantastic event. Stay tuned for future fundraising events.

The Majestic Theatre

The Majestic Theatre

As the most active patron for arts and culture in Corvallis, and as the host for The Drawing Board's monthly Drink & Draw event, The Majestic Theate proudly hosted a Fundraiser Art Show for the Mural Project. www.majestic.org


What is the mural?

The mural project began with this concept: "A Billboard for Nature." The piece depicts three totemic animals: a bird, an elk, and a salmon. They are rendered in a unique style that blends elements of stencils and Street Art with tribal design motifs. The characters overlap and swirl together.

How was it painted?

We started by cleaning the wall and patching the large cracks, priming the wall and applying a base color. Then, Ben Jay completed the mural in about 7 weeks.