Parkersburg Art Center hosting celebration for floodwall mural
PARKERSBURG — An invitation-only kick-off celebration for the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the Parkersburg Art Center on Market Street.
A scale model of the Floodwall Mural will be on display and will later be on display at the Grand Central Mall. More information about the Floodwall Mural Project and how to make it a reality is at the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project page on Facebook or its website, http://ParkersburgFlood.org.
Sponsorships are available and can be purchased through the Facebook page or by sending tax-deductible gifts to: Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project, P.O. Box 1671, Parkersburg, WV 26102-1671.
The Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Committee is launching a major awareness and fundraising effort to get the first section of a floodwall mural completed this summer.
“The idea is to take this big, empty space and turn it into something that will draw people to the city and also make it something that local residents can be proud of,” said local businessman Edward Escandon, who has re-ignited interest in this project which has been discussed several times over the years.
Working with former local artist Christopher Santer, Escandon has come up with a plan to turn more than 1,000 feet of floodwall space into a huge panorama and tourist attraction.
“Phase One, which we plan to begin this summer, will be painted on the area adjacent to the Riverfront Amphitheater. It will measure 160 feet from end to end and will depict the hills and mountains of West Virginia, catching the first rays of morning light,” Escandon said. “We think it will make a fantastic backdrop for the concerts and other events that happen at the Amphitheater, but will also be a huge ‘welcome home’ sign to folks coming across the Belpre Bridge from Ohio.”
Eventually, the plan is for another section of the floodwall to be transformed into a giant piece of sheet music, carrying the first few notes and words (“Almost heaven, West Virginia”) from John Denver’s song, “Country Roads.” Farther down along the floodwall, the hills and mountains will morph into painted representations of the girders and piers of Parkersburg’s historic Sixth Street train trestle, which dates to the Civil War.
The spaces between each of the piers will be turned into scenes of well-known places, events or people in the history of Parkersburg.