Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Seeds" Mural Restoration

*Update*  The Lawrence Percolator is taking donations for the Seeds restoration. Make checks payable to LCAVA / Percolator with "Seeds Restoration" in the memo line.
Send to:
Eric Farnsworth, Percolator Treasurer
1022 New Jersey
Lawrence, KS  66044

This is turning out to be the summer of mural restorations. First was the recreation of Guardians of the Arts downtown, next I traveled to touch up the 2002 mural Ad Astra in Hutchinson, and now, due to wall repair at Cork and Barrel, the 1996 mural Seeds is in need of a full repainting.

Seeds was conceived in the mid-1990's when the Community Mercantile was located at 9th & Mississippi. It was a community-based project that involved participation of over fifty neighbors, employees, and shoppers in both the research and painting of the mural.

At the time, it was the most ambitious project, in both scale and concept, I had ever worked on. Based on two interconnected themes, cultivating healthy food and the four natural elements of air, earth, water, and fire, the idea was to create a rhythmic visual poem that celebrated the spirit of Lawrence's emerging local food movement.

The mural was well received and over time became a neighborhood icon of sorts. Then in 2001 the Community Mercantile moved out and Cork and Barrel moved in. Some of you may remember what happened next. Cork and Barrel decided to remove the mural, but before they could finish the task dozens of local artists and neighbors rallied in protest and saved it. Here's a link to the front page Journal-World article that told the story - Beloved merc mural saved from oblivion

Now, eleven years later, Seeds needs another kind of intervention. Repairs on the wall have just been completed leaving the mural with a disfiguring zig-zag pattern of concrete patching.

The good news is that both the owner of the building and the owner of Cork and Barrel want the mural to be restored. Funding the restoration will be a community effort. I estimate that $3,000 will cover all of the expenses (including a new coat of Nova Color paint for the entire mural)  for what I hope to be a two-week project. If we can raise the funds soon, I'll be able to do the work in July, otherwise it will have to wait until next spring when I'm back in town from working in Arkansas. As soon as we have the funding, I'll be inviting any and all to come help paint and restore Seeds to its full beauty.

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