Maureen Frank — better known to many in Corvallis as the Mandala Lady — said she’s used to working on paintings and drawings by herself.
On Sunday morning, though, she had plenty of help, as residents created a massive mural in the intersection of Northwest 11th Street and Taylor Avenue.
“The Eclipse Rides Through Corvallis,” designed by Frank, celebrates bicycling and the upcoming astronomical anomaly.
To Frank, the collaborative art process itself captured Corvallis.
“To come together as a community — it’s just awesome. More of that, please,” she said.
“Probably the biggest challenge from my perspective was scaling it up from an 8-and-a-half-by-11 inch sheet to 50 feet in diameter,” Frank added.
Her largest previous artwork was a painting 4 feet long and 4 feet wide.
For the street mural, large cardboard cutouts of some elements, such as sun rays, helped create consistency in the design.
The project, funded by a $1,000 city of Corvallis neighborhood empowerment grant, was spearheaded by the Job’s Addition Neighborhood Association. The Corvallis Bicycle Collective, which is headquartered near the intersection, supported the project.
Most of the grant money was spent on paint and other supplies.
The mural coincides with Open Streets Corvallis, a bike-and-pedestrian friendly festival that will shut down a mile of 11th Street and a section of Taylor Avenue on Aug. 20, the day before the eclipse.
Ilene McClelland, Open Streets coordinator for the Corvallis Bicycle Collective and a Job’s Addition resident, said she wants Open Streets to continue as an annual event and rotate through different neighborhoods in town.
She added that “The Eclipse Rides Through Corvallis” is the city’s first official street mural.
“We’re documenting things that are happening in our neighborhood and the entire city,” McClelland said. “Twenty years from now, people will see something exciting happened here.”
There’s also now a process in place to pave the way, so to speak, for future projects of a similar nature, and Frank is considering another street mural in south Corvallis, where she lives.
“This is my first and hopefully the first of many,” Frank said, as she took a break from outlining the mural with black paint.
The project was a bit of a race against the clock on Sunday, as paint dried fast in the summer sun. The breeze also kicked leaves into the middle of the intersection as it was being painted.
More than 30 volunteers, mainly from Job’s Addition, helped with the project on Sunday, including Maeve Gregory, 11, who will be a sixth-grader at Franklin School in the fall. She wondered how long the artwork would last.
“We do get a lot of rain,” she said. Cars and buses also will be driving over the street mural.
Frank wasn’t sure how often it would need to be repainted, but neighbors are already planning an annual party to retouch the mural.
She hoped the bike-centric message of the mural would help create change, at least for those traveling through one intersection.
“With the dawning of this eclipse, maybe we can pay more attention, maybe we can respect our planet and ecosystem more,” Frank said.