Pick Your Mural

ND Highway 22 runs through our town north and south. In the middle of town there is a very old, ugly, railroad bridge which allows trains to travel above the highway so emergency vehicles can go under the bridge from the south side of town to the north side of town when there is a train.  It is a very low underpass that invariably floods and is impassable during rain storms.

One of our friends who is a community organizer sort of person got funding for a mural to be painted on the railroad bridge. It took all sorts of Federal and State hoops to be jumped through to get the approval, and this week the mural painter arrived from California.  He has done several murals in our town and our State.  The local paper described the project thus:

The four underpass wall panels will comprise one large mural, more than 400 feet in length, celebrating North Dakota.The walls north of the underpass will depict the landscape of the Badlands.The east wall will show immigrating Ukrainians and the west wall will show cowboys, Native Americans and buffalo. South of the underpass, the west wall will depict Dickinson State University’s May Hall and the east wall will show historic downtown Dickinson and a modern pump-jack. (Dickinson Press, October 2, 2018).

The mural artist is enlisting local students and adults to assist with the painting. I think it is a wonderful project.  How often do we get to legally spray paint on bridges?!! I just hope the Czechs and Germans from Russian don’t feel slighted that he chose Ukrainians instead of them.

Where in your community would you like to see an outdoor mural, and what would you like depicted on it?

26 thoughts on “Pick Your Mural”

  1. Mankato has become quite the art town. Fifty or so superb sculptures scattered around town, mostly downtown. Decent local art gallery in old Carnegie library. And a 12 foot long and growing mural on sea wall for flooding system along MN river showing a range of local topics, next to the large stylistic bison carved in local limestone (same stuff as in Target Field) carved by Native American artist to memorialize the hanging of Dakota men after the Dakota Uprising. Yesterday I attended a meeting of people suggesting how to improve arts in Vine, the local old folks community center and volunteer organization. They applied for a $25,000 state arts grant. They are good at getting grants. They are adding a fourth floor of facilities in former office building they made wonderful three years ago. Not adding on. Floor sits vacant now. Will include art space.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I would want a mural on the Mall of America, just making it recede into the surrounding area, looking like it is not there.

    OT, I cannot host BBC on Sunday Oct 14–I will be gone that day. I put this out several weeks ago, and did not get a response. Carolyn had agreed to be back up. BBC will need to take her up on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Except I think Caroline told me she wasn’t going to be able to make it to BBC. I believe VS is the latest to offer to be the host.


    2. Unfortunately, I too am unable to host that day. I am co-hosting a 50th anniversary party for my BIL and SIL. I was only called in a couple of weeks ago, so didn’t know at the time we were sitting under a barrage of acorns in August.


  3. I can’t seem to apply the link but some good pictures of the murals in my new location Franklin, Ohio can be found at Franklin, Ohio Murals. The 3d affects are very well done. Most are on older buildings including the one in which I live. In fact the landlord let me know that I cannot clean one window as it is part of the murals.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The best (IMHO) mural in the Twin Cities is that large one of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis. I’d like to see another Dylan mural on some wall in Dinkytown, where he lived and performed as a kid from Hibbing.

    Perhaps some day there will be a Prairie Home Companion mural in Saint Paul. But not now, I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My family has two mural connections. My dad originally set out to be a painter (as in artistic painting). His most famous painting was a large mural in the stairwell of a middle school.

    Years later one of my dad’s artistic friends won a commission to paint a mural in a bowling alley in the student union building for what was then called Iowa State College. The mural he designed showed Rip Van Winkle bowling with friends. Dad’s friend found, to his embarrassment, that he could paint figures but not faces. Dad agreed to paint in the faces, working at night to protect his friend’s pride. I have memories of our family sitting around the bowling area in the evening reading books while Dad painted faces on the bowling mural.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The school stairwell mural was painted in 1936, so it was beginning to look grungy a few years ago. Students in the school raised money to clean and refresh the painting. I had the fun of driving my dad on a trip to revisit scenes from his past in central and southeastern Iowa. A highlight of that trip was visiting his old mural. He hadn’t seen it in over 60 years.


  6. the dylan mural is super cool
    i think the wpa murals of the 30’s were such a good idea we should simply hire folks to do that today
    freeway walls are everywhere
    the sides of trucks
    if you find a paint company to sponser the deal with 5 gallon buckets of paint to be provided i’ll bet the art would flow
    i like celebrating history, dreams and aspirations and a list of top 100 topics or themes could be a revolving thing with artists offerings and designated locations jockied accordingly
    nike, ge, apple, could offer sponsorship but that may politicize it and pull a maplethorp on the whole deal
    artists and patrons is a sticky wicket but art with a rolodex if funding partners may be possible
    50th anniversary of woodstock
    in the high school wall
    woman leaders on strategically located buildings for a two year stint to be replaced by native americans, african americans, muslims, hispanic, chinese, etc…sports is everywhere why not math, engineering, aviation, space,
    peace finders, transportation and energy visionaries, architects

    it could be something


  7. There used to be, and perhaps still are, murals in the walking tunnels at the ND State Hospital painted by patients. I saw them many years ago and they were pretty anguished.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When YA was little her elementary school was torn down and a new one was built in its place. Once the new school was open they had a big mural project in the lunchroom only instead of paint it was with tiles. One Saturday afternoon we all gathered and we were given tiles to paint. Once they were all glazed an artist put them all up together. It was a lot of fun and great to look at


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