Homstad repaints E. Lincoln Way mural

Project funded by Garden Club with Community  Foundation help

All of Jefferson is abuzz with preparations for RAGBRAI, the rolling “city” that will stay overnight here on July 23. The Jefferson Garden Club has been working on a big project for several months to help make the community shine.

Does repainting a mural on the side of a building sound like a daunting task? Not to this group. The mural to be refurbished provides a backdrop to the Memorial Garden maintained by Garden Club members on E. Lincoln Way. Painted 20 years ago, the mural was exposed to some harsh Iowa weather that took a toll. It was originally painted by Decorah artist Carl Homstad, and funded by Jefferson Telephone Charitable Trust.

Early in 2018, Garden Club president Darla Johnson contacted Homstad for an estimate of the cost to repaint, which was just more than $3800. A lot of money to a non-profit organization but not to be deterred, Johnson, on behalf of the club, wrote an application for a grant from the Greene County Community Foundation (GCCF). The $2,741 grant request was fully funded by the GCCF in March. Most of the remainder of the cost of the project was funded by the Garden Club with proceeds from its major fundraiser, the Tour of Homes, this year set for Saturday, Dec. 1.

In early June, the preparation for the mural repainting began with power washing it to remove peeling paint and prime painting the surface. These steps were funded by The Sanctuary church, located in the building on which the mural is painted at 600 E. Lincoln Way.

Homstad recreated the original design for the mural making it appear exactly as first painted two decades ago. Fortunately the weather cooperated and it only took five days for Homstad to complete the painting portion of the project. As a bonus to the local economy, he purchased all the paint used for the mural from local stores. The final brushstrokes were applied June 14.

Artist Carl Homstad after repainting the mural at the Garden Club’s Memorial Garden. The refurbishing was a 2018 project of the Jefferson Garden Club

In addition to RAGBRAI visitors, the Garden Club also invites the community to appreciate the mural, the gardens, shelter and peaceful surroundings of the Memorial Gardens.

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