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More murals on the way for Woodstock Boulevard

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - The Woodstock committee planning new street murals includes, from left: Bryan Gilbert, Cloud City Ice Cream; Elisa Edgington, WNA Chairperson and a Board member of the WCBA; Kevin Myers, Reed College; Gene Dieringer, Dieringers Properties; Erin Beauchamp, Red Fox Vintage; Angie Even, Woodstock Stakeholders; and Laurie Flynn, owner of the Delta Café building. At the July Woodstock Neighborhood Association meeting Angie Even, a Woodstock neighborhood property owner and a spokesperson for the Woodstock Stakeholders group, reported on plans for beautification of the Woodstock business district.

Referencing a finding in the Woodstock Charrette held in the fall of 2014, Even reported, “People commented that the business district is dull. [They said] ‘We want a more vibrant district. In addition to landscaping, the walls of businesses could be decorated’.”

In response, a committee has been formed to work on beautification. Composed of the Woodstock Stakeholders (Woodstock commercial property owners), other business owners, a Reed College representative, and the Woodstock Neighborhood Association Chair and Vice-Chair, with support from the Woodstock Community Business Association, it has met several times to review artists’ renderings for murals.

The first phase of the project will be the new murals, professionally-painted by local artists, on three business walls – the upper south-side wall of Cloud City Ice Cream, the west wall of the Delta Café, and the east wall of Red Fox Vintage.

Business owners along the Boulevard report themselves as looking forward to having the murals add color and vibrancy to the neighborhood. Erin Beauchamp, owner of Red Fox Vintage remarks, “We had a community art wall on the west side that has since been covered [but reproduced on the west wall of New Seasons Market], so we are excited about a new piece of art on our east wall.”

Even, who is the project’s manager, reported that the theme of the beautification projects is “community” and “positive imaging”. Funding for the murals will come from businesses, the Stakeholders group, and a grant from Metro. Even says they will also apply for a grant from Regional Arts and Culture in September.