A proposal for a downtown mural highlighting Woodstock’s entertainment bona fides received a warm reception from city officials.
The Woodstock City Council discussed the mural during its Nov. 15 meeting, when graphic designer Michael Stanard, owner of Woodstock’s One Zero Charlie, presented details from a plan he spearheaded with Councilman RB Thompson.
The mural, planned for a wall bordering the pedestrian walkway adjacent to Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theatre, 209 Main St., would feature famous figures with Woodstock connections: comic strip artist Chester Gould and his most celebrated creation, Dick Tracy; stars of stage and screen who performed at the Opera House; Orson Welles; and characters from “Groundhog Day.”
The city of Woodstock owns the pedway, but the wall is part of a privately-owned building.
The mural would stand 15 feet tall at its highest point and would stretch 118 feet in length. In addition to artwork, the plans also call for a small garden area with plaques explaining the mural and highlighting donors. A bust of Chester Gould also is proposed for the garden.
The council responded positively to the proposal, although they cautioned details of the project — among them, how to pay for it, who would own it and how to secure intellectual property rights — would have to be worked out before they would commit to supporting it.
“I love the idea. I agree with the concerns, but I hope we could move through those concerns, cost being the main one,” said Councilman Mark Saladin.
Stanard said he estimates the project would cost about $50,000 for a “classically done,” hand-painted mural. A vinyl alternative would cost about $24,000, and fundraising and sponsorships could offset most or all of the cost, he said.
Stanard said he’s long wished for public art celebrating Woodstock’s artistic achievements. He’s hopeful the pedway mural could spur others to be painted throughout the downtown area.
Councilwoman Maureen Larson agreed.
“The idea of Woodstock as a place for murals makes perfect sense to me,” Larson said. “We are a cultural, artistic community. I think it’s great.”