“A Street Called Home” Mural to be Demolished

I left my teaching job at the Columbus College of Art and Design and moved away from Columbus, Ohio in 2013, to take the position of Associate Director of the University of Georgia’s Cortona Studies Abroad program in Cortona, Italy. I have lived full-time in Italy for almost six years now, and have drifted out-of-touch with the goings-on in downtown Columbus. It was therefore a shock when my friend Fred Fochtman, a painter and art conservator who helped me restore the mural in 2013, messaged me to share the news of State Auto’s decision to demolish the warehouse on which the mural is painted, in order to build a parking garage.

The mural today…
State Auto’s proposed four-story garage (Rendering via Realm Collaborative / WSA Studio)
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“A Street Called Home” Mural Restoration Begins

I am currently leading the restoration of the mural we painted for the State Auto Insurance Company in 2005.   The painting itself is still in great condition, even after seven years — due primarily to the protective powers of the UV-blocking Golden MSA varnish that covers it.   But the warehouse wall the mural is painted on has settled, and some serious cracks had formed in the cinder block.  The repairs to the building, which were completed last summer and included grinding out old caulk and putting in new mortar, damaged the original painting.  In order to repair it, we will re-paint the damaged areas, then re-varnish the entire mural to give it another 5-10 years of protection.

See step-by-step documentation of the mural’s restoration here.

2013.05.17 Mural Restoration

“A Street Called Home” Mural Restoration

This summer, it looks like I’ll be managing the restoration of the mural we painted for State Auto in 2005.   The painting itself is in great condition, but the warehouse wall it’s painted on is settling, as walls are wont to do… old cracks are opening up again, and new cracks are forming.  The repairs to the building, which include grinding out old caulk and putting in new, will damage the painting.  In order to repair it, we’ll need to remove the varnish, re-paint the damaged areas, and then re-varnish the mural.

One section of the Street Called Home mural, with damaged areas outlined in tape.