By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The plan is for plenty of faces to be on the next public mural, being painted this summer on the north wall of Town & Country Lanes at 3500 River Road N.
Just not as many faces as some would like.
Plans have been discussed at length during Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC) meetings and were again on Feb. 23. As envisioned, there will be 21 faces on the mural, which will have an overall design depicting the Keizer Iris Festival Parade.
Christine Dieker, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, sent an e-mail to KPAC members on Feb. 18 requesting for more faces to be put on the mural in honor of this year’s 30th anniversary of the Iris Festival and the 66th anniversary of the parade.
“There has been a tremendous amount of volunteer service given by the Keizer Iris Festival chairs,” Dieker wrote in her e-mail. “We appreciate your consideration to having their ‘faces’ on the mural.”
During the Feb. 23 KPAC meeting, Jill Hagen – who is in charge of the mural project – and Lore Christopher clarified the 21 faces being done for the mural.
One face will be longtime Town & Country owner Don Lebold, since he’s letting the mural be done on his building. Each of Keizer’s six mayors to date will be depicted. Six more spaces for faces can be purchased for $200 each. Four more will be raffled off for $5 each and the last four will be raffled off to children for free.
“We will cap it at 21 portraits,” Hagen said.
With Lebold and the six mayors, seven of those portraits are already decided. With the others, people can choose who they would like to see depicted. In other words, someone buying one for $200 can have a portrait done of themselves or anyone they choose. Hagen noted she believes she has sold two of them so far.
There had been talk previously about having portraits of a couple of Native American tribal leaders, but that will now be done for a later mural. A motion to do that was approved unanimously.
As the details of the different categories were explained, KPAC chair Beth Melendy had a question.
“Aren’t we getting a little complicated?” Melendy asked. “I feel this is really confusing.”
Hagen noted young children won’t be part of the raffle, since they’ll have the opportunity to put their hand prints and names on the mural.
City Attorney Shannon Johnson was among those feeling free faces should not be given to past chairs of the Iris Festival, as requested by Dieker.
“We can let the chamber know of the plan for purchase,” Johnson said. “They have the same chance as anyone else. I have no way to gauge who will want to pay $200 to have a face up there. We have to be fair. We have to tell the chamber they can have the same shot as anyone else.”
Melendy had a similar thought.
“We already have a process in place,” she said. “It’s nice they are volunteers with the parade, but the chamber can purchase portraits for $200.”
Melendy also suggested if there is the interest to purchase portraits at $200 each, that number available could be raised and the number of free ones be reduced.
Hagen noted a series of mural meetings have been planned. Sixteen attended a recent meeting last month.
The most recent meeting was held on March 7 at Keizer Civic Center.
KPAC member and local graphic artist Jessi Long led the meeting and talked about color mixing theories. All images being done for the mural were asked to be brought back at the meeting.
Another mural meeting takes place March 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Keizer Art Association classroom at the Keizer Heritage Center, next to city hall. Wendy Lusby will talk about sponge painting techniques.
Hagen, Lusby and Kathy Hainey met recently to begin the process of scaling images to size and composing the overall image for the mural.
“It is not too late for anyone to help create the community mural,” Hagen said. “The work scope and activities will change because the finished mural involves many steps.”
Nate Brown, Keizer’s director of Community Development who is staff liaison to KPAC, noted March 22 at 6 p.m. is also the time of the next KPAC meeting.
“Shouldn’t those of you painting be in that class?” Brown asked.
Christopher waved off the idea.
“There will be someone at the mural telling me what to do,” she said. “Remember, we did the Big Toy.”