After a long spring break (to work on murals in Songdo, South Korea and Waco, Texas) the Sioux Falls Mural Project is back in action! In late June, our apprentice Nate Buchholz led a group of volunteers in power-washing and priming the one hundred fifty one foot long wall. The result, a beautiful blank canvas.
Accessing the wall is still a big issue. The first lift we tried to use, an all-terrain scissor lift, was no match for our hills of soft soil. Now we're trying to make two forty-foot boom lifts work. So far, so good. It looks like we'll be able to reach most of wall, although the lifts need to sit on level ground to operate. This is an on-going challenge.
The first test was transferring the design. On a warm Monday evening we waited and waited for the sun to go down. Finally at around 9:30 it was just dark enough to see our projected image on the wall. Ashley drove the boom lift and traced the upper sections, while Nate and I worked down below. Nicholas Ward provided expert AV assistance and commentary. Between swats at flying insects and long intervals of orienting the projected image to the exact space it needed to go, we painted. At 1:45 am we finished the last bit happy to go home and nurse our various bug bites and know that the design was finally up.
This weekend, if it doesn't rain, we'll have community painting. Judging from the the throngs of kids in the park every afternoon, we should have a big turn out.
We also want to welcome our new Project Manager, Lela Himmerich who we've known as the the Whittier Middle School teacher that began this whole mural deal in the first place. In 2011 students in one of her classes were the ones who suggested making a mural as a way of improving the neighborhood.
And... Welcome Back to the former and now current Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Arts Council, Nan Baker. We are delighted that Nan has found time to steer the ship once again.