A new mural rises in downtown Springfield
The project materialized in a short time, about a month and a half. Wojcik said Disney paid for the design concept and SPAC worked with Kim Fish, who contacted the group to get it started and helped raise funds to prepare the wall, using local artisans including Elijah Glaser of Glaser Masonry and Brett Boblitt of QC. Paint.
SPAC’s costs for catering, artist fees, supplies and elevator rental were approximately $20,000.
Before painting, the mural looked like a giant paint-by-number project, indicating the different colors to use. Supervised by local artists Kelley Booze, Pete Hrinko and Nathan Conner, passionate volunteers have climbed ladders and even climbed several feet on elevators to paint in recent days.
Deb Southward from Springfield saw the call for volunteers on Facebook, and although she hadn’t done art since high school, grabbed a paintbrush and went to work.
“I wanted to do something that would be an improvement in the community,” she said. “You don’t have to be an artist. I love that it’s something you can drive and see.
The youngest volunteer was 4-year-old Braylon Bettinger, who came with his grandmother Jessica Bettinger. She thought it was a good way to show Braylon’s civic responsibility and something they can point to as having contributed.
“When you’re driving, it sparks interest and makes you want to go further into the city,” said Jessica Bettinger.
Royal Benton and Beau Brockett have just opened Monarch Photography and were delighted to see their mascot so tall, a lovely surprise they weren’t expecting when they volunteered. They wanted to contribute to the growth of the city and give dynamism to the downtown area.
Jarvis, whose work has been transferred to murals in the Columbus area and across Washington state, said “Transformation” is a tribute to the changes people go through in their lives, sometimes easy and sometimes difficult.
“It’s an image that inspires and shows why we should care and show compassion and understanding for those who go through it,” he said. “There’s so much to love about this project.”
Jarvis was unable to be in Springfield due to health precautions, but looks forward to visiting in the future.
Wojcik said another mural is in the works in August using a prominent artist’s concept to go to the side of the WesBanco building, and more concepts are in the planning stages.
“We want to keep that momentum going downtown,” Wojcik said.