City mural project gets fresh palette

December 03, 2003|by CANDICE BOSELY

Like ancient works by famous masters, plans to paint a mural on a building in downtown Martinsburg are being restored.

With a grant awarding up to $16,000 in hand, Main Street Martinsburg is holding a design contest in its latest effort to have a mural painted in town.

A previous plan to paint a mural on the side of a Queen Street building, which was vehemently opposed by some city residents and business owners, fell through when the building's owner withdrew his permission.

Five other building owners, however, have given Main Street officials permission to possibly use their building for the mural, said David Hartley, chairman of Main Street's design committee.


Prospective artists can choose one of the five buildings or, if they have another building in mind and can secure permission from its owner, they can use it instead.

Interested artists must submit a proposal, including a mock-up of the mural, to Main Street by Jan. 31. Those proposals will be displayed at the Boarman Arts Center sometime in February for public input.

An artist will be selected in March and Hartley said he hopes painting will begin in April or May and conclude in August.

Despite voiced opposition to the previous mural plan, Hartley said he is convinced a mural will benefit the city.

"Murals, first of all, have been very successful in historic towns across the country," he said. A mural in Martinsburg, he added, would bring art to the public and bring more people downtown.

The owners of the following buildings have said a mural could be painted on their structure, should the winning artist choose it:

  • The Union Sales Dodge building at 119 E. Race St.

  • A building at 115-119 E. Martin St., across the street from the Apollo Civic Theatre

  • The Station Grill building, 127 E. King St.

  • The building that houses DeFluri's Fine Chocolate, 130 N. Queen St.

  • The All About Fabric building, at the corner of North Queen and Race streets.

Interested artists can pick up a packet of information from Main Street Martinsburg's office, on the second floor of City Hall, 232 N. Queen St.

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