New history themed murals planned for downtown CW

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Later this year, the face of one Canal Winchester downtown building will look a little different and harken back to a time when the city was a town bisected by a canal and CornerSmiths was Gayman’s Department Store.

Karen Stiles, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester hopes by mid-fall the current murals that are on the side of the CornerSmiths building at the corner of High and Waterloo streets will be removed and three larger murals installed.

“The (three) murals will be approximately 6 feet wide and 10 feet tall,” said Stiles. “They’ll look like windows where one can look inside the shop to see what might have been happening at a much earlier time in Canal Winchester’s history. We chose that site because the side of the CornerSmiths building is a huge wall begging for something like this. Waterloo gets a lot of traffic, so high visibility and the scenes from the past are a nod to the history of the building and to the history of our city.”

The project is fully funded by Destination: Canal Winchester.

Stiles said members of the Canal Winchester Art Guild submitted sketches and from those sketches three will be selected. Once the three are chosen, the artists will be commissioned to turn their ideas into paintings and then go through the steps to turn the artwork into murals.

The murals will be applied in the same way as others on buildings around Canal Winchester and will last about as long as the current set, which varies from mural to mural, but is approximately two years.

“We’ve had six different art guild murals on the building,” said Carm Smith, owner of CornerSmiths, “and they’ve held up better than anticipated. We have seen rough sketches by local artists of their ideas of Gayman’s in the early days as a reflection of bygone times. We want to find the ones that connect most with the building and is the most fluid.”

Canal Winchester has a rich and long history with artists living and working in the community.

When asked how a mural project like this benefits the city’s downtown, Stiles said Destination: Canal Winchester’s mission is to encourage visitors and community members to discover the city’s historic, cultural, entertainment and business destinations, while promoting historic preservation and maximizing the economic well-being and quality of life for the area.

“Our committee decided back in 2016 that we wanted to do more than just host events,” said Stiles. “We wanted to contribute to the visual appeal of our city. When people find their communities pleasing to the eye, they walk more and socialize more. They take more pride in their city. Visitors are more likely to enjoy the time they spend here. We find we are now in a position to begin working on some of our ideas. This is only the first of many.”

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