In the community

Dedication ceremony for Sagebrush Annie Mural slated

VALE – The Vale Heritage Reflections Mural Society is inviting the community to the unveiling of the new version of the Sagebrush Annie Mural on Saturday, July 15.
The celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. at the mural on the south wall of the Vale Liquor Store at East Washington Street and North 13th Street.
“We thought it would be something fun for the community,” said Sheri Nalivka, a society member.
The ribbon cutting for the refurbished mural is set for noon and free hamburgers, chips, drinks and cake will be served.
Buggy rides will be offered at the celebration along with a free drawing at 2 p.m. for a Sagebrush Annie canvas print. The print is currently on display at the Gathering Place salon in Vale.
“We also thought this would be a way to give back to the community instead of asking them to donate,” said Nalivka.
Local resident Don Wayne will also have his model train display at the celebration and Fred Childs will provide music.
The refurbished mural marks a key plot point in a long tale to restore the aging murals across town. The first mural was painted by artist Don Gray in 1993 and 31 more paintings were added. The murals endured climate damage over the years and began to fade. Many of the murals require extensive renovation.
Also, over time interest in the mural =society dropped off, creating challenges to restoration efforts. When the mural project began in the 1990s the society was a robust group with many members but by last year it consisted of just three or four members.
Public meetings hosted by the mural society in 2022 revived interest in the murals and finding ways to renovate them. Since then, the mural society also gained new members and interest from the community, said Nalivka.
“People want their community to look nice and I think they like the murals,” said Nalivka.
The mural society’s next renovation project will be the painting at the Vale Emma Humphrey Library on East A Street. That project is expected to begin this fall. The two mural renovation projects are funded by a $8,000 grant from the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Board, local donations and funds from the mural society.
The murals will not be repainted but be replaced by a graphic representation of the original paintings. The images are produced and then an aluminum composite frame is built. The graphic image of the original painting is then connected to the frame.

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