The four finalists have turned in their finished artwork and now it is up to the judges to decide which design is going to be the first one to grace a building in Xenia next year. The problem now is going to be deciding which three are going to need to find other homes. The judges are asking the citizens of Xenia to take a look at the four colorful and inspired designs that they must choose from and give them some comments. The artwork will be on display at this Saturday’s Xenia Rail and Arts Fest at the Inner I Gallery, 81 E. Main Street where they will share the spotlight with the Fest’s extensive model railroad setups. “I would love to see any of these great designs go up,” says Mural Society member Mary Crockett. Fourteen entries were received by the Society in July. The four finalists are Xenia muralist and teacher Paul Lavigne, local muralist and art instructor Olivia Anderson, Xenia Community Schools art teacher Rob Richards, and local gallery owner Karen King.
“I know I would love to have any one of these pictures on the side of my building,” says member Alan King, owner of the Express Yourself Coffeehouse and Art Gallery and one of the potential hosts for a future mural. “The Montgomery Insurance and Investments building was the Society’s logical first choice for a mural site,” says King. “It has great exposure and Brad and Eric Montgomery are willing to do what they can to help make this happen.” The winner of the $500 first prize for mural design will be announced at Xenia’s Old Fashioned Days on Sept. 19. Plans are underway to solicit bids from potential muralists to complete the work and private and corporate sponsors are being sought to help the building owners complete the project. Murals on this scale can cost from $5000 to $15,000 to complete, depending on the building condition and the muralist’s fees. The mural Society will retain ownership of the mural and the design and the owner will have to agree to maintain the work for at least 10 years. “We want to have about 10 of these murals up in Xenia some day,” says King. “We know that raising funds for this will be hard, but we think that the people of Xenia will get behind this project and make it happen.” The Xenia Mural Society is a component of Greene Giving, the Greene County Community foundation and has received assistance from the Ohio Arts Council in organizing. For more information and to see what a downtown mural may look like, visit their website at www.XeniaMurals.org or just search “Xenia Murals”