BUCKHANNON – ART26201 is raising money to restore Chuck Olson’s Evening Star mural on the Ameriprise Financial building to its original vibrant state.
Bryson VanNostrand, president of ART26201, said the mural was constructed in 2016 but has gradually faded since.
“It was a fantastic evening,” VanNostrand recalled. “The Governor’s School of the Arts was in session at that time, and we had 250 students down here, along with all of the local folks, so it was a fantastic night.”
Since then, the once colorful mural has lost much of its luster due to its exposure to the direct afternoon sun.
“First the first the blues faded, and then the yellows faded, and now what’s left is pretty much the red,” VanNostrand said. “I look at it every morning. I was okay with it fading a bit, but over the last six months or so, it has really faded a lot.”
ART26201 is raising $2,000 for new panels that are guaranteed to last 10 years and $500 for the labor to replace the prints.
“These are vinyl prints, so we can print as wide as 12 feet,” VanNostrand said. “The Charlie Harper murals that you see [in Trader’s Alley] are all vinyl prints. We developed that method a few years ago to be able to put some really big, colorful artwork up for a very affordable price.”
VanNostrand said actual hand-painted murals are nice, but expensive.
“If we were to pay an artist to be on a scaffold and hand paint a mural for a month or six weeks, it’s a lot more money and a lot more effort — and much harder to find,” he said.
One goal of ART26201 is to show Buckhannon’s support for the arts through public displays, such as the various murals that dot the downtown area.
“The whole Art in Public Places program is founded on the idea of having an outward visual expression of the creativity and the progressive point of view that this community has,” VanNostrand said. “The art for me is a recruitment tool. It’s a tool to let people know when they’re coming through town that there are cool, interesting things happening. We also focus a lot of time trying to target our youth and let them know downtown Buckhannon is a fun place.”