August 12, 2013
The Standard St. mural in downtown Elkin is taking shape and near complete.
“The Main Street Advisory Board decided to include mural grant projects this year along with façade grants for businesses in the downtown area,” said Laura Gaylord, the community manager for the Town of Elkin.
According to Gaylord, the MSAB uses funds from the MSD (Municipal Service District) to pay for projects to enhance downtown such as beautification, landscaping, upgraded benches and trash receptacles, signs and banners, and funding requests for events from non-profits that occur downtown.
“This year the mural grants were especially exciting because Michael Brown, who is an exceptional North Carolina artist, was able to fit us in this summer to paint murals, after making a few visits to Elkin earlier in the year. He was very enthusiastic and inspired by our downtown and he helped the MSAB, and the businesses owners who wanted to participate in the mural grant program, work through ideas about what was important to portray in our community.”
“Its a panoramic view. It’s going to turn out great when done,” said Brown who was seen bouncing in between vehicles that would often pause along Bridge and Standard St. to take a glimpse. “I’ll tell you. There’s a ton of interest in the art piece.”
Gaylord said that Elkin Antiques and Collectibles Mall asked their patrons what they’d most like to see on their wall that runs along side of the building.
After working through many ideas, the group settled on the old Elkin bridge, and they decided to include another building missing in Elkin since the mid-80’s; the Elkin Train Depot.
“Combining the two images into one mural honors the past, and helps us feel connected again to things that we can no longer experience,” said Gaylord. “There is something comforting about seeing the Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge standing strong again along the wall on Standard Street. The view is close enough in its location, that you almost feel the bridge is still there for a moment.”
Spectators will now see sepia tones incorporated by Brown. The tones give the appearance that you are looking at a historic photograph.
“The artist in me pushed really hard to incorporate the sepia tones,” said Brown. “This mural is magnificent.”
According to the Town of Elkin, business owners pay for the cost of the mural and are reimbursed by the MSAB mural funds, which are a 50/50 matching grant up to $1500.
“The painting project quality on the wall could likely result in being one of the most highly desirable photo op locations for Elkin,” said a tourist who’s in town for a wine festival.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org