A bright, new addition is being added along Beatrice’s two major highways, as a plain brick wall will soon be a mural of notable landmarks in town.
The mural is a Main Street Beatrice project, and is being painted by Community Players’ Associate Artistic Director Tyler Rinne between Beatrice Movies and the former Fast Cash building.
Main Street Director Michael Sothan said the project, as well as additional art installations downtown, have been funded through Big Give Gage donations, grants from the Gage County Foundation and a pledge of support from the City. Painting started about a week ago, and Sothan said it’s anticipated to be completed by the end of October.
“You’ll see everything from farm scenes to Veterans Memorial Park, to the Indian Creek Mall sign, some agriculture, Homestead,” Sothan said. “While it is certainly downtown-dominated, just because architecturally that’s kind of the core of some of our landmarks, we’ve tried to incorporate elements throughout the community into the mural, so it isn’t just a downtown mural in what it’s depicting.”
Sothan said he likes the location, because it’s easily visible to both residents and visitors of Beatrice. He thanked General Agriculture Services, who owns the parking lot the brick wall shields, for giving Main Street permission to commission an art piece there.
“I just think it’s kind of a cool project to bring a little color to downtown, and also reflect the past with all the different buildings, but in a modern design,” Rinne said. “I was really excited when Michael approached me with this project, and it’s been a lot of fun to work on it so far.”
Rinne said that one reason he may have been chosen for the project is that he’s painted roughly 80 sets for Community Players, making his art style recognizable to the community. He said he focused on landmarks that were important to Beatrice, but also were pretty to look at.
“Some downtown buildings that have had businesses in the past may be empty at the moment, but just kind of looking at the past and the beautiful design, but also at what might go into those buildings in the future,” Rinne explained.
Sothan said no set plans have been made for other installations yet, but that Main Street is looking at doing art in the alley between Court and Ella streets along Fifth and Seventh streets, as well as reincorporating some vintage-inspired advertisements that used to adorn some of the buildings downtown.
“With our downtown, we’ve had a large amount of success in recent years with some building improvements, with added businesses,” Sothan said. “We felt like this was a great compliment to that.”
Updates on the mural’s progress can be found at the Main Street Beatrice Facebook page, as well as mainstreetbeatrice.org/
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