By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent
The drawings for a colorful 50-foot long mural were approved by the Long Prairie City Council recently, following a presentation by Royalton artist Jim Daly and Dreams United/Sueños Unidos Director Tim King. The mural will be painted on the north side of Main Street in Long Prairie on a building owned by the Montanez family (formerly Jack and Jill grocery store and then the Starry Electric building.) The building is used most often to host parties for birthdays, baptisms and other special occasions.
The mural, which will be approximately seven feet high, is being painted on corrugated fiberglass above a row of windows. It will feature three large panels, with the center panel highlighting a parade led by traditional Mexican dancers, moving down Main Street. The left and right panels will show scenes of Amish and English farms and agricultural activities.
“We wanted to show the different cultures that live in our community,” King said.
King and his wife, Jan, and son, Colin, are the former publishers of La Voz Libre, a 10-year-old bilingual monthly newspaper covering the Hispanic communities of Long Prairie and Melrose.
“Our family worked closely with the Mexican community to develop the folklore community dancing,” said King.
The central panel showing Mexican dancers is based on a photograph taken by Jan King.
“With the farm scenes, I wanted to show how agriculture — the rural community — leads into the town,” Daly said. “The mural will show everyone working and celebrating together as a community. It’s a story.”
Another theme within the mural will include the monarch butterfly, which breeds in and migrates from a location in Mexico close to where many residents of Long Prairie came from.
Work on the mural is due to begin Aug. 27. Funding for the mural comes from the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls and the Valspar Corporation donated the paint. The project should be done by late September, depending on weather.
Jim Daly, who will paint the mural, is an award-winning artist with many mediums. Previously, he created two large building-size murals in Ohio.
“We welcome community participation with the mural by area art students,” Daly said.
For more information, call Daly at (320) 584-8171.