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11/1/2018 12:22:00 PM
Downtown Connersville murals will be celebrated after public picks the designs

Darrell Smith, Connersville News-Examiner

The public chose the latest murals to be painted on downtown buildings and now the public can help celebrate their completion.

Discover Connersville will host the celebration Thursday, Nov. 15, from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Fayette County Foundation board room, 521 Central Ave.

The Foundation granted the organization funds for the murals with the requirement a high school student be mentored by mural artist Terry Hreno so that mural painting could continue into the future.

Five students responded to the call out for artists but only Lexi Keen from Connersville High School and Kate Wallace of Lincoln High School painted. Wallace did much of the work the Farmers & Merchants Bank building mural on City Hall. Keen designed and did all the work on the Robert E. Wise mural on the Issues & Answers building.

Hreno, Keen and Wallace will be recognized during the celebration.

In the spring, Discover Connersville hosted a public meeting with several in attendance to discuss ideas. They voted on five options and Discover Connersville posted those on Facebook for a public vote.

“We just didn’t know what to envision at the start,” said Carolyn Bunzendahl, president of Discover Connersville, an Indiana Main Street Community. “Until people came to the public meeting we weren’t sure, we just wanted to pretty up the downtown and to make it special.

An old-time street scene and Robert E. Wise garnered the most votes.

Hreno instructed the students on the art of mural painting, from laying it out on paper to putting grids on the buildings and then painting. They used scaffolding on City Hall. The city Street Department provided a lift truck for Keen to use on the Wise mural.

For the street scene, they selected four old buildings for display: Heineman Corner, Canal House, Ashworth’s Drug Store and the Farmers & Merchants Bank.

“This is a great start,” said Sharon McQueen, Discover Connersville executive director. “People have asked why we don’t have a name on Robert Wise’s mural. We’re going to do a plaque to put on the building to tell about him and list some of the movies he directed. People can stop as they walk by and read it.”

Movie posters were not used with that mural, she said, because of movie rights and copyright rules.

Bunzendahl said a little bit of Foundation money is left over. This winter, paintings will be done on metal to hang on buildings. Those will be of other Connersville famous people, inclluding a basketball scene with Mr. Basketball Phil Cox, Miss Basketball April McDivitt and Butler University star Matt Howard.

Next year, she said the group will try to receive more funding to do additional murals.

With the addition of the new murals, the downtown includes the Mystery Mural on the Whitewater Valley Arts Assocation building, the Connersville High School marching band on City Hall, Twelve Mile Purchase Treaty at the Foundation, Duke Energy in Fayette County across from First Financial Bank, and old cars on Jim’s Auto & Body Shop on Eastern Avenue.

Hreno also is finishing a mural on the old Fire Station 2 building along the Whitewater Canal. The building owned by and the mural funded by Dwain and Sandi Robinson, and is separate from the Discover Connersville project.

Related Stories:
• Community foundation helps bring newest mural to downtown Greenfield

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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