Well, it finally happened. We took down our Main Street mural. And it wasnâ€™t easyâ€”not just because it was a Monday and it was pouring rain, but because we had to destroy something that had been so much fun to create and which had enlivened our community so much.
The morning was wet and gray, but I suited up in raincoat and waterproof shoes (see me in the yellow?) and met Mary Beth and Brandon outside the Hub. Armed with razorblade scrapers, we set to work. The mural gave way with surprising ease in velvety smooth ribbons of red and blue paint that curled up over the top of my scraper and tumbled to the pavement in sheets and streamers. While we faced the difficulty of cleaning up all these little bits and pieces (many of which melted to the wet pavement and proved nearly impossible to pick up), the removal process took just under two hours. We were soaked to the bone and a bit sore, but we were done. A quick stop at the Hub for some hot chocolate soon had me right again.
At the time, I thought the Gilcher building looked grayer because of the clouds and rain, but in the following sunny days when I walked by, the windows remained cold and lifeless. I keep expecting the color, shape, and movement of the VP debate days, but all I see are nondescript windows. It seems impossible to let the building go back to its usual vacant self. Surely another mural can be made at some point, right?
While everyone at the Arts Center would love to have another mural, especially one to advertise for our springtime blockbuster exhibit (which is going to be AWESOME, by the way), there is one little obstacle in our way: money.
Though we painted the debate mural as part of a community effort to brighten up Danville, it would be unsustainable to continue painting them without help from others in the community. Our most conservative estimate of the cost of the supplies and man-hours added up to $2000. And while painting murals is a lot more fun for me than answering emails or going to meetings, thatâ€™s the kind of stuff the Arts Center needs Brandon and I to do to help it grow.
The mural was a galvanizing force in our community, and I heard nothing but positive feedback about it. It certainly seems like something the Arts Center should continue to pursue, but we have to find a way to make it affordable, too. We’ll miss you, debate mural. May your legacy live on!