Mural Project: Corvallis
We believe in public art, especially murals. We want to launch an era of mural painting in the City of Corvallis, starting with Downtown. The Drawing Board is sponsoring a mural to be painted by local aerosol artist Ben Jay in Summer 2013. (Pictured: the artist's rendition of the mural design.) Stay tuned for progress reports.
Mural Project in the News!
Check out this front-page article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times about the mural the Drawing Board is sponsoring. It tells the whole story!
The new mural will be painted over the 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.
This old mural is 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. Imagine a bold new mural here. Thanks to Photoshop, we can see the artist's sketch of the mural projected on the wall.
The Artist: Ben Jay
The Drawing Board has 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:
Ben Jay has also painted murals on commission in California, Tennessee, 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
In September 2012, we 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.
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.
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
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
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
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 will the mural be?
The mural itself began with this concept: "A Billboard for Nature." The president of the Board of Directors at the Corvallis Environmental Center sat down with The Drawing Board and Ben Jay to hash out some ideas. The Drawing Board committed to fully sponsor the project, and supply paint and other materials. We would use BCCC grant funding and the public's donations to pay the artist.
The mural depicts four of earth's inhabitants: a bird, an elk, a salmon and a human face. 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 will we paint the mural?
We'll start by cleaning the wall and patching the large cracks. We'll prime the wall and apply a base color. Then, Ben Jay will complete the mural in 1-2 weeks. He will use aerosol acrylic paint, painted free-hand with Montana spraycans. Once dry, we'll coat the mural with a UV-resistant varnish.
Fundraiser: Commemorative Posters
We printed a limited edition run of the artist's rendition of the mural. These are 11x17 glossy color mini-posters, and they are available for a suggested donation of $10 at The Drawing Board. Also available are color postcards of the bird and the fish from the mural design. Very very cool.
We are currently working on other fundraiser merchandise, such as T-shirts.
Watch this website and The Drawing Board facebook page for details.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION