A Mural for CrowtownGAMBIER, Ohio (November 14, 2012)
A public art project created in a Kenyon classroom and depicting crows over Coshocton, Ohio, will be pasted onto a three-story wall in that city on Saturday.
The mural, about 8 by 12 feet in its original form, has been blown up to about 2,500 square feet and cut in paper panels for pasting before and during a free community celebration called the Crow Homecoming that starts at 2:00 p.m. at the old Park Hotel wall on Main Street in Coshocton.
Kenyon students, the Gund Gallery, visiting artist Diana Cooper of New York City, and the Pomerene Center for the Arts in Coshocton collaborated on the project that embraces the crow population of Coshocton and the city's unofficial nickname - Crowtown. The students were in the Painting Redefined course taught by Professor of Art Karen Snouffer during the spring semester in the 2011-12 academic year and visited Coshocton to watch the flocking crows in February.
"We created this design representing different aspects of that event," Snouffer said. The birds roosted near a paper mill, and the class considered the relationship between industry and nature. "It's an interpretation of the movement of the crows into this area, so there are really beautiful shapes. It's nicely designed. It has an abstract quality to it, but you can tell what's being referenced. We did a lot of research on crow behavior."
The experience was good for the students, who had to work together and understand they "had to speak to this community," Snouffer said. "There was a sense of the unknown. There was problem solving. And I really like the fact that we're doing something outside of Gambier."
The Coshocton civic and business community and the Coshocton Convention and Visitors Bureau have embraced the Crow Homecoming, said Anne Cornell, executive director of the Pomerene Center for the Arts. "It's looking really fun," she said. "I'm really excited about the art work. Conceptually, the students handled the project in a very interesting way, I think."
The mural installation is temporary. The paper has a billboard quality and will be mounted with wheat paste cooked at a local restaurant. The mounting project is funded through a grant from the Simpson Family Fund at the Coshocton Foundation and through donations of money and materials from local businesses. To learn more about the event, call 740-622-0326.