City center mural showcases the imagination of East Liverpool students | News, Sports, Jobs

East Liverpool Mayor Greg Bricker and Monster Mural artist Craig Wetzel stand with students whose monster designs were painted in the mural on the side wall of the building at 432 Walnut St. where find Quality Stamp. (Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt)

EAST LIVERPOOL – Students, their families, city officials and local artist Craig Wetzel gathered at the Quality Stamp at 432 Walnut for a ribbon cutting for the latest mural to be completed in the city.

The Monster Mural was painted by Wetzel on the side wall of the Quality Stamp building.

Pupils from schools in East Liverpool submitted their drawings of monsters to Wetzel who chose 20 of nearly 150 drawings he received and painted them into the mural.

Joia Rose, 7, was thrilled to see her pastel colored striped monster wearing a crown as part of the mural. Joia said the idea for her monster came from the fact that she always liked the color purple and had a bed in her room that was all different colors. She also added that she loves rainbows, so she decided to create a rainbow monster.

Eight-year-old Jayce Barton, who isn’t quite sure where the inspiration for his sandwich monster came from, said he thought it was amazing to have the monster painted on the wall and it made him happy.

Pupils from East Liverpool Schools stand in front of the monsters they drew for the mural painted by Craig Wetzel. (Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt)

Selene Temple, 7, brought her original drawing in a frame with her to the ribbon cutting. She describes her monster as being crazy because he is scary. Selene said she thought it was good to see her freak on the wall and it turned her on.

Raina Wheler Flores, 9, who cut the ribbon at the ceremony, also gave Wetzel her comments on the mural, telling him it takes a lot of eyes to fill in the blanks. She also told Wetzel that if she had a big gold trophy, she would give it to him.

Wetzel, who took the time to pose with the students in front of their monsters, said the idea came from remembering a time when his younger son drew the large purple monster included in the mural and had the idea of ​​organizing the competition. for children to submit their monster drawings.

Wetzel said it was a tough choice to narrow down the 20 monsters to paint.

“I picked some as the clock monster because they were too original not to pick any,” said Wetzel. “There were so many that I could have chosen from, so I went with whatever fit the composition best. I had enough to do three or four monster murals. It was tough. There had a lot of good ones.”

Joia Rose, 7, stands under the rainbow monster she drew, inspired by her love of rainbows. (Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt)

This is the first mural that Wetzel, who is a resident of east Liverpool, has painted. He spent 14 days painting it and finishing it on Wednesday, but the project has been in the works since June.

“It’s great to see the kids when they get out of the car and see their monster, to see their eyes wide open and their mouths open.” said Wetzel.

According to Mayor Greg Bricker, this is the fifth mural completed in the city in the past six months.

The murals are funded by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, East Liverpool Women’s Auxiliary Club, Columbiana County Land Bank and Heritage.

According to Bricker, the idea of ​​the murals across the city was something they started doing as part of the city’s revitalization plan.

Selene Temple, 7, holds the original framed drawing of her crazy, scary monster, which local artist Craig Wetzel painted into his Monster Mural. (Photo by Kristi R. Garabrandt)

Bricker said they had been trying to get the murals for a while and in addition to Wetzel, they partnered with students from Youngstown State University to do a few, as well as ‘to Russ Baker of Steubenville.

The mayor noted that they are looking for more places to put murals and more funding for them.

“We are looking for grants to do as much as possible,” said Bricker. “You just have to look up and down Fifth Street and see the buildings where they were. So part of our revitalization is to do as much as we can, as much as we can get funding.

Bricker also noted that the city hopes to do more by the end of the year. There is still one in progress, but a venue and funding are needed for it.

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