The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Volunteers complete work on updated aviation mural

 

October 5, 2017 | View PDF

Master artist Jennifer Headtke (right) explains to new painters the effect she is looking for during a painting session in the Seward Community Library and Museum. Headtke and a large group of volunteers spent about two weeks in September creating a new "Dawn of Aviation" mural.

The City of Seward moved one step closer to having one of its prized murals being returned to action when volunteers joined with the Seward Mural Society recently to apply the final brush strokes to the new "Dawn of Aviation" production.

According to SMS officials, volunteer painters spent numerous hours over a period of approximately two weeks in the basement of the Seward Library to create a new 32-foot mural. The new artwork will replace the original "Dawn of Aviation" painting that was created in 2001 and redone in 2005 and is currently on display on the north side of the 5th Avenue Gym.

"We want to thank everyone who came out to help," said Dot Bardarson, one of several members of the Seward Mural Society who contributed hours to the project.

The new mural, which was completed on eight individual panels under the direction of master artist Jennifer Headtke, is expected to be mounted next spring. The panels will be stored in the Seward Community Library and Museum until they are ready to be put into place.

The aviation mural highlights events specific to Seward and contains a special tribute to lifelong resident Pat Ray Williams, who died in 2014. As a 15-year-old in 1924, Williams watched the landing of the first planes to successfully fly around the world. Five years later, she watched a Russian plane land on its successful flight from Moscow to New York. Fascinated by flight and a willing passenger whenever she could hop on a plane, Williams witnessed the dramatic evolution of aviation in her lifetime from open cockpit bi-planes, to jets, to outer space.

Initially, the "Dawn of Aviation" replacement project began in a garage, where a crew of volunteers sanded and washed the panels. Once cleaned, the panels were transported to the library where tables had been set up. Transferring the design took three days with yet another crew. Painting began on Friday with many volunteers. A smaller skeleton crew worked with Headtke to create the more difficult panels and touch up the rest.

The historical mural, 32 feet wide by 8 feet high, was financially supported by various grants and personal donations. Individuals or businesses wishing to help support the Seward Mural Society project can make donations to the Seward Arts Council, Box 747, Seward, AK 99664. Donors are asked to note on their checks that funds are for the 2017 aviation mural. A donation of $100 or more will get the individual or business listed as a donor.

 

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