Art Guild working to complete fourth mural in city

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

The fourth mural of the Five Hills Art Guild is now well under way by guild members who keep one eye on the weather thermometer and the other on one wall of the Ledger Furniture building, a fixture at the corner of Avenue D and Main Street for more than 100 years. 
On the longest wall of the inside covered carport area, which was once home to Smitty’s Service Station decades ago, an image of downtown Copperas Cove of yesteryear is taking shape. 
Mural project chair Catherine Blashack did extensive research for the project design, which includes the Ledger building, home to a number of businesses prior to becoming the furniture store. The design also includes part of old Main Street as well. 
“Mr. Branch, the owner of Ledger Furniture, and myself about a year ago had a discussion on doing a mural on the wall of the Ledger Furniture Store where Ave D and Main Street intersect. He said I should talk to Linda Ledger for ideas, because she always has lots of ideas. I met with Linda and she provided me some pictures of old Copperas Cove,” said Blashack, who also collected photos and information from other sources. Branch also told Blashack about a picture he liked that was hanging in the back room of the Allin House, home of Copperas Cove’s first mayor.
The photo ended up being what Blashack calls the starting point for the mural. 
“From my research, I was able to recreate two sides of the block where the Ledger Furniture store is today on Ave D and Main Street. Most of the photos were from the late 1800s/early 1900s, so I thought it would be great to create a snapshot of time from the early 1900s of Copperas Cove.”
The project kicked off on October 22, a little later than planned due to the completion of the Avenue D sidewalk project taking longer than the group expected. 
Even with the wintery weather last week, which caused the project to be put on hold for a few days, the volunteers continue to forge ahead with the painting.
Blashack selected sepia tones for the mural, which lends the air of “days gone by” to the painting. With the help of photographs of the earlier residents of Copperas Cove, locals may recognize some of the faces and figures on Avenue D and Main Street. 
The second floor of the building, above the mural, was also the former home of Mount Hiram Masonic Lodge, Blashack said has also been helpful in her effort to portray the buildings in downtown Copperas Cove as they used to be. 
The volunteers battled wind when they first began projecting the building images onto the wall, with the wind blowing the paper and making it shift as the artists drew the design. But, the volunteers persevered. 
There is no set date of completion at this point, but the mural artists plan to work on the project as much as they can, while the fickle Texas weather cooperates. 
A mural unveiling will be planned in the future after the project is completed. 
This is the guild’s fourth mural, with the guild having completed a mural on the entrance of HomeBase on Business 190 in March 2017. Prior to that, the guild completed murals on Donlie McMullin real estate building on the corner of S. 1st Street and Avenue D, along with a three-panel mural that hangs on the front of Preferred Plaza on Business 190.

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