Five Hills Art Guild painting two downtown murals
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Five Hills Art Guild is adding more murals to the walls of two businesses in downtown Copperas Cove, at Ken’s Automotive and H.I.S. Contractors.
Paired with the existing murals and the wildflowers painted on the planters throughout the area, the new murals are adding more color to the downtown area and help provide a fun photo opportunity.
The mural on the side of Ken’s Automotive at 302 S. Main St will be a close up of a furled flag, with five stars, red and white stripes and two silhouettes of a man and woman soldier, as a patriotic nod to the veterans and active duty soldiers in the community. Former Guild president Linda Lapierre is overseeing the flag mural. She said she approached the owner of Ken’s Automotive about refreshing the previous mural, which was a large Texas flag painted that had deteriorated over time.
Neighboring R.N.C. Construction owns the building and told Lapierre they would like an American flag instead of the Texas flag.
Lapierre said she was worried at first about having to do 50 stars and came up with the idea of the zoomed-in image that would make it look like the flag is blowing in the wind.
Painting for the flag mural began on Tuesday after Lapierre put out a call for volunteers to help paint on social media.
“This one doesn’t require art skills,” Lapierre said. “This one’s anyone who can roll on paint can work on this one.”
On Monday, Lapierre mapped out the gridlines on the wall in the form of three-foot squares.
“It’s all about gridding, using graph paper and trusting your design because when you’re on top of it, proportionally, you can’t trust it,” Lapierre said. “You’ve got to keep stepping back.”
On Tuesday, volunteers began color blocking to mark where the red paint and white paint would go. They took a break on Wednesday and were back at work on Thursday to snap the diagonal lines in order to see where the shading would need to go. As of press time, Lapierre said they hoped to finish by Saturday by keeping a pace of four to five hours of painting per day.
Niecy Meeks, who works for H.I.S. Contractors across the street, found her Tuesday morning free after her job for the day was cancelled, so she joined in on the painting with Lapierre and Emily Scott-Graham, who has been a guild member for three years and is the exiting secretary for the Guild.
Meeks also plans on joining the Guild as a member, according to Lapierre.
“I would say that’s a success story right there,” Lapierre said. “I would say that’s our goal, is to get public attention and to gain members.”
Meanwhile at the H.I.S. Contractors building at 216 S. Main St, new guild president Catherine Blashack is overseeing a three-panel mural that features a giant spider and spiderweb, a crocodile and two different sized butterflies.
The three panels were designed to offer an interactive photo opportunity for people driving by. Kids and adults can stand in front of the butterflies and pretend they have wings or pretend they’re being attacked by the spider.
“We wanted to do something different with these three here because it was right on the street, and so we wanted to have something where people could become part of the mural in a sense and have photos taken of themselves with the mural,” Blashack said.
The murals are also vibrant and capable of catching a person’s attention from the road.
The mural on H.I.S. Contractors saw three people join the Five Hills Art Guild and helped with painting the background of the panels, according to Blashack.
“People can do more than they think they can, and that’s what’s so neat about art,” Blashack said. “It doesn’t matter where you start and you just kind of, you know, do a little here.”
Regarding the flag mural, Blashack pointed out that it was perfect for someone just starting with murals because it allows a person to get a feel for what the Art Guild does but doesn’t jump straight to complicated, intricate work.
Work on the H.I.S. Contractors mural began May 21 and saw nine volunteers beginning painting and working at approximately 6:30 a.m. each morning depending on weather and schedules.
The completion date for the mural at H.I.S. Contractors will depend on the weather, according to Blashack.
There are six other locations including the first mural painted in 2015 by the Art Guild at Donlie McMullin Realty at 201 S. 1st St; the “Earlier Times of Copperas Cove” mural at Ledger Furniture at the corner of Main St and Ave D; the mural at HomeBase at 104 Bus. 190; the mural on the front of the Duncan Building, which houses the Copperas Cove Leader-Press office at 2210 E. Bus. 190; the mural inside the Copperas Cove Police Department; and the Ogletree Gap and stagecoach mural inside the Copperas Cove Public Library at 501 S. Main St.