Art class seeking donations for mural

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By Jonathan Wright

Champion Media

A high school art class is looking for donations to help fund a project to repaint a familiar, but fading sight in Aberdeen, Ohio

RULH High School’s art class is attempting to raise money to fund a revamp of the Aberdeen, mural located on U.S. 52, at the exit from the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge from Maysville. According to art teacher James Gilkison, the work will be performed by the high school’s art students.

Gilkison said the current mural in Aberdeen has been greeting travellers for about 10 years. Over the past decade, however, the paint on the image has been fading unevenly.

According to Gilkison, being able to repaint the same design for the mural would cost anywhere from $700-$1,000 per season to restore the art, so he decided to speak with the Aberdeen Village Council last month to seek its approval of the project. The council agreed to allow RULH to undertake repainting the mural.

Instead of touching up the current image of the mural, which depicts various views of the riverfront of the Ohio River, a new design will be painted. A simpler design is planned for the mural while still paying homage to the original design.

“My students need only basic materials to paint gray faux bricks on the wall and the ‘Welcome to Aberdeen’ ribbon larger and in the middle of the wall under where it currently resides,” Gilkison said on his online donation page.

Gilkison said the design in mind for the project will be far more cost effective, and won’t require as much time to complete. He estimates the amount of money needed to begin the project at about $1,000.

The mural will be painted entirely by high school students with the possibility of middle and elementary students taking part. To maintain detail in the artwork, Gilkison said a grid technique will be used to transfer the design, a method the students learn in class.

Having the students take part in the project is something of a tradition, Gilkison said, as murals of the past have also been painted on that very same wall and were created by students.

“The murals in the past were all done by students,” he said, “I was there to just supervise.”

Gilkison said once he meets the goal for the project, he plans to begin painting sometime next spring.

Donations to the project can be made online at donorschoose.org/aberdeenmural. The deadline for donations is Oct. 27.

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