VALE – City residents can help decide the fate of the 32 murals that dot the walls of businesses in another community meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at the Vale Seniors Community Center.
The session is a follow-up gathering from an earlier meeting in November when about 30 people discussed the future of Vale’s iconic paintings.
The condition of many of the murals, created in the early 1990s, triggered the November meeting and the session next week.
The murals were the culmination of work by the Vale Heritage Reflections Mural Society. The meeting will be moderated by John Nalivka, a mural society board member.
“I would say it is very important for people to come out. The city itself doesn’t have the money to set aside for the murals so it is up to the community to come together and look for funding options,” said Tom Vialpando, Vale mayor.
Since the first mural was painted by artist Don Gray in 1993, 31 paintings have been splashed across granite and brick walls across town but many of the displays are beginning to fade and need extensive renovation.
The goal of the meeting Dec. 19 will be to craft plans to finance renovation of the murals. The cost is roughly $200,000.
Vialpando said he’s already discussed possible funding sources with Todd Fuller, Vale city manager.
One idea, said Vialpando, would be to collect the print versions of the murals and stage an auction for the paintings.
“That might get some seed money to go after another grant to get match money,” said Vialpando.
The November meeting was moderated by Malheur Enterprise Editor and Publisher Les Zaitz. Zaitz termed the meeting a “conversation” and urged those in attendance to return in December with one other person.
“Let’s get the community chatter going,” said Zaitz.
Vialpando said he’s already received feedback from local residents who said they will be at the session and plan to bring another person.
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