Work begins on ‘Town of Colors’ murals
By James Grob, email@example.com
So far, artist Erik Burke’s impression of Charles City is “staring at a wall 10 hours a day.”
Burke began work on the mural he is painting on the wall of First Citizens Bank on Sunday, as a part of the community’s “Town of Colors” public art project. The theme of the mural Burke is working on is “Floral Explosion.”
“That’s what they’re calling it, but I don’t know if I’d call it that,” Burke said. “Usually I don’t name it until I’m done working on it.”
The Town of Colors project will feature two murals, to be painted on the sides of businesses on Main Street. The other mural will be painted on the Snap Fitness wall and have the theme “Bodies in Motion.”
The artist Gaia will be working on the Snap Fitness wall. The two artists will also be collaborating with each other. Some of the elements of each theme will be on both walls. Gaia will be arriving in Charles City later this week to begin work. The murals are expected be completed by the end of July.
Gaia has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Art and Style list, has been a Fulbright beneficiary, and has work on display on six continents. Burke has worked throughout the United States as well as South America, Asia and Europe.
Burke has the mural already mapped out in detail on sheets of paper.
“If you’re going to build a house, you need blueprints,” he said. “I follow it pretty closely.”
Burke said his initial take on Charles City was that it reminded him of a village in Italy.
“It’s a nice, quiet quaint community and kind of reminds me of a small Italian city,” he said. “With the river going through town and the bridges, and people out enjoying the time and place.”
The Town of Colors Committee is hoping the murals will be the start of a large-scale public art project that keeps the Town of Colors theme expanding.
On Thursday this week, the Charles City Arts Center will hold an open house meet-and-greet event for the artists at the Arts Center. The event will be two hours long, with the first hour (5-6 p.m.) for people who donated $200 or more to the project, while the second hour (6-7 p.m.) open to the public.
On Friday, the CCAC will sponsor a viewing, with a discussion, as the artists are painting. The public is welcome to that event, which will feature VIP seating for donors who contributed $100 or more to the project. The event is called “Artists in Action” and starts at 6 p.m.