RED WING -- In 2007 the Red Wing mural on Third Street was created to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the city’s founding. Now, in 2020, the mural is getting a facelift.
According to Emily Guida Foos, the executive director of Red Wing Arts, the original plan was to update the mural last fall.
“Winter hit so early, right in the middle of October, that we weren’t able to address it then. And so we had to wait until spring and summer this year and then COVID hit," she said.
The initial idea was to have community members and volunteers help update the mural in a similar fashion to how it was originally created -- the mural was drawn onto the building and then individuals filled in sections with paint -- but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to have a large group of volunteers working closely together.
Instead, three local artists completed the repairs: Dan Wiemer, Peggy Simonson and Art Kenyon.
“The three of them have such talent that the project was in good hands,” Guida Foos said.
The updates took the trio about three weeks to complete. Guida Foos told the Republican Eagle that they were out there every day. Some days they worked for four hours and other days they worked for as many as 12 hours.
The repairs were difficult at times because the artists had to look at pictures to find the details that had been lost and then work to recreate the mural based on available photos.
This is not the first time that the mural has been repaired. A few years ago it was discovered that the exterior wall of Malmquist Home Furnishings was not built to be an exterior wall.
“That’s where all of that damage has been, is that the wall has a lot of trouble staying sealed with paint,” Guida-Foos explained. She added that the extreme temperature differences in Minnesota cause the paint to wear.
Last year Frank and Lori Kania, the owners of Malmquist, had the wall repaired in preparation for the update.
Guida-Foos believes that Third Street's public art is an important part of Red Wing. “So many people consider the Red Wing mural an identifying piece of this community,” she explained, adding “When I was there just checking on it I would say every time I showed up someone was taking a picture in front of the mural.”
The updates were also a community effort. Along with Kenyon, Simonson and Wiemer painting the mural, Red Wing Construction Company provided the lift as a donation, Ace Hardware donated the paint and the city allowed the private use of public property.