Jenny Rhoads, Staff Writer
ASHVILLE – The Ashville Area Heritage Society (AAHS) is looking for an artist experienced in working with acrylic paints to help keep its 4th of July mural safe from weather degradation.
The mural, displayed on Long Street outside Ohio’s Small Town Museum, was completed in 2010. Since then, the mural has faced a lot of wear from the weather.
“In the five years it’s been up, I think it’s weathered pretty well,” said Steve Clay, trustee member of AAHS.
Last fall, the mural was taken down to be repaired by its artist, Dirk Rozich. The move came after museum volunteers noticed degradation on the lower panels, including fading paint and warping and separation of the panels.
Rozich has offered to repair the mural free of charge by taking it to his studio in Alliance, but trustees would much rather keep their mural where it is so it can be viewed.
“We’re proud of it,” Clay said. “We are known for the 4th of July and our traffic light, and we would prefer to keep it up throughout the touch-up process.”
In efforts to help protect the mural, which is painted on azek, trustee members have been making improvements to the display area.
“We recently added lights and an awning to the mural, which has helped it from being damaged too much from the sun and the rain,” Clay said.
Recently, AAHS began a search for an artist experienced in working with acrylic paints who can touch up the existing mural, add some type of clear coat protectant and also add new details to the scene.
“We want to put one of our long term members, Jack Lemon, into the mural,” Clay said. “We would like to have this done before the winter months. Hopefully we can find someone to come out and touch this up before then, as I would hate to see it taken down again.”
Anyone interested in helping with the mural touch-up process should contact Ohio’s Small Town Museum at 740-983-9864 or by visiting www.ohiosmalltownmuseum.org.
The mural was originally commissioned by sisters Mary Jo Py and Judith Nicely for the Ashville museum in honor of their parents. The scene blends historical elements of the village with iconic landmarks and celebrates Ashville’s annual Independence Day festival.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal