Youth, adults create mural, but installation delayed until May

PHOTO BY ADAM WILTGEN Lead artist Erik Pearson sits with a portion of the finished Theatre District Mural.

Lanesboro Arts and Commonweal Theatre Company brought together more than 200 community members of all ages last month to participate in the creation of a large-scale theatre district mural to be installed on the south wall of the building at 204 Parkway Avenue North in downtown Lanesboro.

A total of 116 students from Lanesboro Public Schools helped paint on Oct. 16 alone, while at least 85 other youth and adults participated in the mural painting process that took place Oct. 16 through 20.

Due to the mural creation process taking longer than expected, paired with uncooperative weather, the installation of the mural will be delayed until May 2020.

“We want to do this right to ensure that this unique piece of public art can be enjoyed by our community as long as it possibly can,” Lanesboro Arts Advancement Director Kara Maloney said.

The installation in May will include a proper dedication, community-wide festivities, and interpretative signage to contextualize the mural for passers-by.

The mural’s design was painted onto parachute cloth, a canvas-like material, and has been rolled up and placed into storage. In May 2020, the painted cloth will be installed at its final location adjacent to the St. Mane Theatre and Commonweal Theatre in a manner similar to applying wallpaper.

Lanesboro is a unique rural community, in that it is home to two active theatres on its main street. Designed by artist Erik Pearson, with community input and ideas from a May 2019 brainstorming meeting, the theatre district mural celebrates the performing arts and highlights both theatres, but also honors and reflects the Lanesboro community’s rich heritage and traditions.

Lanesboro Arts and Commonweal Theatre are supported in this project through a “Paint the Town” grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in partnership with Ace Hardware, which will supplied 29 gallons of paint for the mural.