COLUMBIA — Work on two murals for the Bike Boulevard is planned to begin in early September.
GetAbout Columbia’s Street Mural Committee met Tuesday evening to finalize plans and dates for the murals to be painted at both ends of the boulevard crossing College Avenue. It is expected to cost $2,500.
The first mural, titled “Celebration” is scheduled to be painted at the intersection of Ash and St. Joseph streets starting Sept. 3, the Friday of Labor Day weekend. Painting on the second mural, titled “Quadessentials,” at the intersection of Windsor and Melbourne streets, is set to begin Sept. 10.
Each period of painting will require streets surrounding the intersection to be closed for three straight days, long enough for the site to be primed, painted and sealed with a weather- and wear-resistant coating.
The committee determined weekends would be the best time to work because of reduced traffic flow.
If rain or extreme temperatures are present either weekend, committee member Corri Flaker said painting would fall on the next available weekend in September.
Artist Sandra Eccles asked that "Celebration," depicting a sun surrounded by a green ring with dancing figures, be painted first because it is the more complicated of the two designs.
Flaker agreed. "It would be best to get it done right away," she said.
Eccles and the committee determined that up to 20 volunteers could be enlisted to help with the painting. They hope to include neighbors in the immediate vicinity. Painting would begin early in the morning each day.
“If we do our recruiting work, they’ll come out at any time,” said committee member Adam Saunders, when another committee member asked if working early on a holiday weekend might dissuade volunteers from joining the effort.
Eccles said the first step in the process is to prime the street surface with a neutral paint to improve adhesion of paint and the appearance of the mural.
Eccles planned to visit the site after the meeting, and in the coming weeks she will prepare stencils and outlines to make the painting easier.
"Once it's drawn and laid out, it'll almost be like coloring time for the volunteers," Eccles said.
Eccles said she wouldn’t mind starting stenciling an outline on the streets early, before the streets actually close.
“I’ll just have to dodge cars,” she said.
Eccles said she has studied up on street murals in other locales to determine methods and specifics such as which paints and sealants to use. She said she can't wait to bring her art to Columbia.
"It is so cool in other cities," Eccles said. "It really takes your breath away."