By MAX FILBY
Work will begin Monday on a new mural, to be painted on the side of First Federal Bank on South Main Street in downtown Findlay.
The University of Findlay is in charge of the project. The mural will feature images of the university’s Old Main building, students, and areas of the city such as the Hancock County Courthouse.
The concept behind the mural is to show the relationship between the city and the university.
“It’s very important,” said Greg Allen, southern market president at First Federal Bank. “The university brings a lot of very important people and things in. It helps make Findlay the community that it is.”
Martin Terry, vice president of business affairs and treasurer at the University of Findlay, agreed with Allen, saying “the city has been very accommodating” to the students and the university.
Officials from First Federal and the university will gather at university President Katherine Fell’s house on Wednesday for a private unveiling of the mural’s design. The ceremony is not open to the public, Terry said.
Oscar Velasquez has been hired by the university to paint the mural, which will replace a mural from Findlay’s bicentennial celebration.
“The bicentennial celebration is over, so we saw this as an opportunity to celebrate all the scholastic achievements the University of Findlay has accomplished,” Allen said.
Velasquez, who now lives in Macedonia, has painted nearly 30 murals in the area, including one depicting the Statue of Liberty on Main Street in downtown Findlay. Velasquez said he’s excited to have the opportunity to paint another mural in Findlay.
“I always look at every wall as a blank canvas,” he said. “Doing this is always challenging, but it’s rewarding, too.”
Velasquez is looking forward to the mural starting to take shape, and said he welcomes visitors who are interested in talking to him about it.
“I enjoy meeting people,” he said. “I usually end up making a few friends I didn’t have before, and end up with another project or two every time I do one of these.”
The mural’s images will start to become clear in the second week of painting, Velasquez said.
The project will take about three months to complete. Velasquez said he will be working between 40 and 50 hours a week to complete the mural by summer’s end.
Despite up-and-down temperatures, rain and maybe snow, Velasquez said he isn’t worried about the weather getting in his way. Velasquez said it’s typical to have one or two days of work rained out, and he’ll adjust his schedule as needed.
“I’ll be out there rain or shine,” he said.
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