Members of the Kenai Peninsula will have an opportunity to enter a Peninsula-wide community mural project.
“The impetus has a lot to do with joining our different communities together as a community,” said Zirrus VanDevere, exhibit and cultural coordinator at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
The project seeks 24- by 48-inch tile paintings unified under the theme “community identity.” All entries will be narrowed down to a final 20. The winner will receive $1,500 and his or her tile will be recreated on a 12- by 24-foot mural.
Artists can use any medium when creating their tile image, but they must include a hidden image of a fireweed flower, a snowflake or the big dipper constellation. All entries must be submitted with a single-paragraph biography.
All Peninsula residents can enter at $35 an entry, and they can enter as many tiles and they like. April 15 is the deadline. Tiles will soon be available at the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center, VanDevere said.
The Peninsula’s first community-centered mural project was the brainchild of Soldotna Rotary Club President Marcus Mueller, she said. Seward — the “mural capital of Alaska” — inspired him, she said.
“It really is a wonderful thing when you have all that art in the community. It bring people together, and it give people a sense of ownership.”
The visitor center will display all entries, and the public will select the winning entry in a Sept. 7, 2013, auction. All other entries will be sold at the auction to cover the projects cost of materials.
The winner will receive a stipend to work with Project Manager James Adcox to produce the final, large mural. The community will vote where they want the mural mounted.
“Every element of it is basically community decided, which is exciting,” VanDevere said. “There’s a lot of buy-in from people because they can be entirely involved.”
She said she hopes the project will motivate businesses and cities to contract local artists to create more murals, promoting community fostered arts.
VanDevere said she expects about 100 entries, but Mueller, she said, anticipates less.
“I mean, who knows,” she said. “But, because it’s so open and because there’s been a lot of enthusiasm about this right from the start with anyone we’ve presented this to, yeah, I’m thinking we’re going to have a lot.”
Dan Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.