Work starts on newest downtown Middletown mural

The mural committee hopes Middletown’s latest artwork installation is “music to the ears” of downtown visitors.

By this spring, a 2,400-square-foot blank wall at the corner of Central Avenue and Broad Street will depict several instruments and musical notes, a mural designed by Middletown artist Sam Ashworth.

The wall was primed over the weekend, and painting is expected to start soon and be complete this spring in time for the first Broad Street Bash, a free concert that is held throughout the year at Governor’s Square.

Two locals artists — Rhonda Gardner and Chris McCall — will lead the project, said Sue Wittman, director of the Art Central Foundation. She said community members and young artists will also assist with the project.

While the total cost of the project hasn’t been determined, all funding will come from private donors, Wittman said. Sherwin Williams has been a community partner on all of the murals, and no public money will be used, she said.

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This will be at least the 10th outside mural in the downtown area.

The bright designs of the Ashworth mural, especially where many community musical events are held, will “make a statement” downtown, Wittman said.

Wittman has owned Artique inside the Pendleton Art Center since it opened five years ago. Her window overlooks Governor’s Square.

“I can’t wait,” Wittman said when asked about the mural.

Jody Bober, a member of the mural committee, is equally excited. She has watched as downtown has begun its revitalization and she believes murals play an integral role in that success because they attract tourists.

“This is part of the evolution,” Bober said. “(The murals) are all so different. They give you something to talk about. Another thing to bring people downtown. This mural will add to the flavor.”

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