Mural renovations now underway

 

By Joel Charron

Local artist, Jason Dyrda has begun renovations on the murals that grace the west walls of General Amherst High School.

Dyrda stated the murals would need some patching in some areas before they could be repainted. He also mentioned the murals will be covered with a protective seal to preserve them and protect them against vandalism.

The restorations are expected to be completed by the summer, in time for the Roots to Boots festival on Aug. 3-5.

Dydra said the renovations have been running smoothly however, his progress depends highly on the weather.

 

Artist Jason Dyrda is in the beginning stages of the mural renovations. The renovations are in prepartion of the Roots for Boots Festival on Aug. 3-5.

“The weather has been up and down,” said Dydra. “We’ve had some rain, we had that day where it snowed a little bit and we had some really windy days. But for the most part everything has been really good.”

Dydra said he has already cleaned the murals and applied a coat of primer. He also replaced the curb at the base of the murals.

Dydra noted that he has had quite a few people stop and ask questions on his work.

“I’m getting some compliments already,” said Dyrda. “People are already saying I’m doing a good job and it’s not even finished.”

Dydra said he expects more people to wander by as the weather continues to improve; however he is noticing a disturbing trend.

“Some of the people driving by are looking at what I’m doing instead of the road,” he said. “If they want to look at the murals, please park and look at them.”

He mentioned that restoring these murals is “truly an honour.”

“It’s amazing to be a part of this,” he said. “I feel so fortunate out of all the artists that are around the County, that I’m the one who’s able to bring life back to these murals. I love working on big projects so this is just perfect for me.”

Dydra admits he was a bit worried with all the students around and all the machinery, however he said he’s had no problem.

“Nobody has touched anything,” he said. “I’ve had no problems with the students, no problem with people passing by. People in this town are really polite.”

Funding from Canadian Heritage, the Greater Essex County District School Board and many in-kind donations from the private sector have made the restoration project possible.

The cost of the project is approximately $50,000 but only $20,000 in cash is actually being spent with the rest being in-kind donations.

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