Taking Art to the Streets

intersection art mural proposed for Eastside Hill

Eric Christenson

PORTLAND, OF COURSE. Portland, Oregon, has tried similar street murals at several intersections.
PORTLAND, OF COURSE. Portland, Oregon, has tried similar street
murals at several intersections.

Taking a hint from places like Madison, Racine, St. Paul, Portland, Ore., and Boulder,  Colo., some Eastside Hill go-getters are taking steps to collaborate with Flynn Elementary School to transform a regular ol’ cross-street into a true work of art.

Gina Keenan, a parent with two kids at Flynn, is one of the main organizers of a team including Flynn staff, city officials, and parents alike trying to make this a full-fledged collaboration between city, students, and neighborhood. The proposed plot is at the corner of Lee Street and Hoover Avenue.

The idea: with the help of organizers and teachers, Flynn students will help design a mural to be painted on the pavement of the street at that intersection. What the mural will depict is still up for debate, but Keenan said she wants it to represent both the neighborhood and the school.

“We’d like to do more of a community identity thing,” she said. “It’s a safe route to school. It’s be a tie-in from Flynn to the neighborhood.”

Keenan started the process about a year ago, getting people excited and involved, taking the idea to the Eastside Hill Neighborhood Association, the school, the steering committee ... but getting cleared of all red tape is a timely process.

The next step is the City Council and Keenan hopes the idea will pass there, paving the way (pun intended) for future murals to go up at different corners within the Eastside Hill as well as other neighborhoods in Eau Claire. She hopes to bring it up to the council in October, and get painting next May.

“For the kids, it would be empowering. Like, ‘This is our mural,’” Keenan said. “This would be a much smaller project that would still give Flynn identity while also tying it to the neighborhood.”

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