Board members of the Central Minnesota Art Co-op in Princeton have big plans for the now plain-looking north wall of its masonry building, once used as a creamery warehouse in downtown Princeton.
The plan is to paint a mural on the wall this summer and also use the wall as a movie screen for showing outdoor films. An information and events marquee would also be part of the mural. The co-op is at 106 Sixth Ave. S. and its 107-foot-by-22-foot north wall faces the municipal parking lot that lies west of the alley behind the Villa Manor apartment building.
The arts co-op, which opened in February 2013, is a place where artists can display and sell their work, with a sales commission going to the arts co-op, which is applying for nonprofit status. The art co-op is also equipped to teach classes on art skills.
But the arts co-op board and its executive director Wendy Bursch are not waiting for its nonprofit status approval to seek a $10,000 art and cultural heritage fund grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council to carry out its wall plans. In the meantime, the city of Princeton will serve as the co-op’s fiscal agent.
Bursch said that once the grant is approved, the co-op can hire an artist to make the drawing for the mural. The concept for the mural has already been chosen. It will depict a drive-in movie theater with cars of pre-1950s vintage parked in front of the screen. The screen will do double duty, being a movie theater screen in the mural, and being a movie screen in real life, capable of having films projected onto it, Bursch said. Plans are to put on a film festival after the mural is complete and the local Art Monkeys group would sit on the jury to decide which films to accept for the festival, Bursch said.
Bursch said that a local painting company has been asked to donate to the project, and if it does, it will have its name incorporated in the mural painting.
Zimmerman Middle School art teacher Amy Cunningham would be able to do the drawing and would lead a group of teens to paint the mural after teaching them the needed skills, Bursch said.
The goal is to begin the project July 15.