In 2005, I supervised the painting of a mural on the wall of this warehouse at 555 Boone Street in Columbus, Ohio, belonging to the State Auto Insurance Company. The project was a collaboration between State Auto, The Columbus Museum of Art, and the Columbus College of Art and Design — three neighbors in this area of downtown Columbus called the “Discovery District”. State Auto generously provided the wall and the funding, the art museum houses the work of art the mural is based on, and CCAD provided talented student painters.
When it came time to choose which of the museum’s artworks to use for the mural, we knew that a segment of Columbus native Aminah Robinson’s “A Street Called Home” would be perfect. This piece was the original art for the book of the same name that Robinson wrote and illustrated in 1997, and it’s now one of the prizes of the museum’s collection. It shows what this area of Columbus looked like when Aminah was a girl. The colors are vibrant, cheerful, and attractive, and the composition is eye-catching and full of movement. The long, horizontal format of the artwork is perfect for a wall that is 150 feet long and 20 feet tall.
After cleaning and priming the wall, we divided it into a grid of numbered squares, then painstakingly transferred a line drawing of Aminah’s artwork. Then we began painting. More than 30 students worked on the mural; we began in July and finished in mid-October of 2005. We began each day at 7am, while it was still cool and pleasant, and worked until the sun came over the wall and began to heat it up, usually about 1 pm. Then we had to stop for the day, because the paint we used could not be applied while the wall was in direct sunlight. When the mural was finished, it was coated with a varnish which protects its colors from fading, and shields it from the weather and pollution.
More about the Mural…
Columbus Art Walks
ArtZine documentary, April 1, 2006 (updated 2013)
Columbus Dispatch, August 4, 2005
Columbus Dispatch, October 22, 2005
Image Magazine, Fall 2005
Columbus Alive, December 14, 2006
Columbus Dispatch, August 9, 2009
Columbus Alive, July 8, 2010