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Work on new Woodstock mural in downtown set to begin next week

A mural meant to enhance Woodstock’s downtown and continue work toward the city’s public arts program is set to be completed later this month after the City Council approved an agreement with the artist last week.

The mural, titled Made in Woodstock, is slated to go on an exterior wall of 220 N. Benton St. as part of the city’s effort to enhance its downtown, according to a city news release. Surrounded by restaurants and just off the historic Square, the mural will go in the heart of the city.

Artist Mauricio Ramirez specializes in contemporary murals, according to a presentation detailing the project. Previous work he’s been a part of includes a mural on a three-story building in Milwaukee of Bucks’ basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo. He also has worked with Disney and with several other cities across the country.

“I create artwork that crosses borders and boundaries,” according to his artist statement. “My more personal artwork is a contribution to the community.”

The mural’s design is planned to act as a tribute to the city’s musical history, depicting a musician surrounded by roses, according to city documents. The roses “are a nod to the beauty that blooms around the area.”

Ramirez will be paid $12,000 for the project, according to city material. The project is expected to begin June 14 and will take a little more than a week to complete.

The area where the mural will be created in June 2022. The location is on North Benton Street in downtown Woodstock.

The area where the mural will be created in June 2022. The location is on North Benton Street in downtown Woodstock. (Provided by the city of Woodstock/)

Mayor Michael Turner said murals, such as the one near the town’s movie theater depicting various movie and stage stars, enhance the city’s culture and image.

“I think murals are a part of a vibrant and unique downtown,” Turner said Tuesday. “I think there’s some other places we can add some culture and color and make us stand out even further.”

To go with the mural, the city will host a community paint day, where Ramirez is planning to section off a couple of small segments of the wall to allow for others to paint, according to city material. This will allow those interested to contribute to the mural.

“One of the most important aspects of my work as a mural painter is community engagement,” Ramirez said in the presentation documents. “I have come to learn that communities thrive when given the opportunity to engage directly with the ‘making’ process of murals.”

The second phase of the project’s community engagement includes a coloring sheet of the mural, according to city material. The coloring sheet will be given out to local schools as a way to let community members who didn’t get a chance to help paint the mural participate.

“By doing this, I believe that the mural can live in students’ homes and supply their own narrative to the artwork,” Ramirez said.

The new mural is another step toward filling out a public arts program Woodstock has been trying to promote, Turner said. Part of that is creating an overall strategy to guide the city’s art.

“The city is looking at not just individual projects, but coming up with a strategy and plan that connects everything together,” he said. “We’ll be looking at options in the middle of the roundabouts that will be getting built.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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