VALE – The Vale Heritage Reflections Mural Society will sponsor a special event Saturday, Sept. 30, to celebrate the renovation of the mural on the front of the Emma Humphrey Library on East A Street.
The library mural depicts a woman reading to a child on her lap and is commonly known as the “journaling mural.” The celebration is set to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with free hot dogs and popcorn. A scavenger hunt inside the library will be held for kids.
“Basically the celebration will center on kids,” said John Nalivka, a member of the mural society.
That’s because the mural society sponsored a contest with local school students to commemorate the new mural, said Sheri Nalivka, president of the mural society.
Kindergarten through third grade students participated in a coloring contest while youth in fourth grade to sixth grade created a mural illustration with an Oregon Trail theme. Middle school students wrote a short summary of single day on the Oregon Trail.
Winners in each category received a Yeti-like metal cup “full of goodies,” said Sheri Nalivka. The cup is illustrated with wagon train on the front and the Vale Heritage Reflection Mural Society decal on the back of the cup.
“The first 50 kids that are there at the celebration will also get a free, hand-made little journal,” said Sheri Nalivka.
The celebration will mark the second successful mural renovation project in the past three months.
In July the mural society celebrated the renovation of the Sagebrush Annie mural on the south wall of the Vale Liquor Store at East Washington Street and North 13th Street.
The work on the Sagebrush Annie mural and the library is funded by an $8,000 grant from the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Board, local donations and funds from the mural society.
The two murals are graphic representations of the original paintings done in the early 1990s.
A graphic image of the mural is created and then an aluminum composite frame constructed. The graphic image of the original painting is then connected to the frame. The original painting is removed and the frame placed onto the wall where the original painting was set.
More than 30 murals eventually graced the walls of buildings throughout town but over time the illustrations deteriorated from climate damage. Many now require renovation before they fade away.
Public meetings held in late 2022 hosted by the mural society aimed to stimulate renewed interest in a project to renovate the murals. After a high point of interest and participation in the early 1990s, participation in the mural society from local residents declined.
Now, though, the mural society has more members and moving ahead on other mural restoration projects, said Sheri Nalivka.
“We have a good core group now,” said Nalivka.
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