The proposed mural project would sit on the eastern side of the Farmington Civic Theater’s walls. Two trees would be removed if necessary, and new ones would be planted elsewhere by the DDA.

The proposed mural project would sit on the eastern side of the Farmington Civic Theater’s walls. Two trees would be removed if necessary, and new ones would be planted elsewhere by the DDA.

Photo by Jonathan Shead


Committee discusses proposed Farmington Civic Theater mural project

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published July 30, 2019

 A partnership with the Farmington Civic Theater and the Downtown Development Authority will bring a new mural to the downtown area by next spring.

A partnership with the Farmington Civic Theater and the Downtown Development Authority will bring a new mural to the downtown area by next spring.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington Public Art Committee met July 24 to discuss a proposed new downtown mural on the exterior of the Farmington Civic Theater. This would be downtown Farmington’s second commissioned mural project.

“A mural on the eastern wall of the theater has been a possibility for years. I’m glad the (Downtown Development Authority) has taken a lead on public art, including murals,” Scott Freeman, the general manager of the Farmington Civic Theater, said via email.

Overall, the committee had 13 submissions come in from 10 artists. The committee’s goal is to choose a piece of work that generally celebrates downtown Farmington and the theater’s history, one that will be timeless.

“We just talked about potentially taking reference from the architecture of the things that pay homage to this cultural icon that’s been in the heart of downtown for 80 years,” said Kate Knight, the executive director of the DDA. “Some people took it very literally, and some didn’t touch on that at all, and that’s OK. … I’m thrilled with the range of entries we got.”

Freeman agreed, stating that he never had anything specific he wanted to see portrayed, only “a great design that would be timeless.”

Submissions included a scene of friends and lovers at the movies, depictions of past film technology, an homage to the theater’s 80 years, celebrations of popular film stars and animated characters, and abstract renderings that leave the viewers to create their own interpretation.

Submissions ranged in size and orientation, with some filling up the entire wall and others only a portion of it, whether placed vertically or horizontally.

At the meeting, committee members went through all of the submissions, as well as each artist’s attached statement on their intent and an overview of ideas. Some also included portfolio examples of their previous work.

Knight said the committee is considering each submission equally, regardless of whether the artist is local or not, their experience level, and the medium they used to create their piece. However, she said many of the submissions the city received came from local creators, and that’s something she would be excited to celebrate in the eventual promotion of the project.

While committee members are currently still in deliberations, they left the meeting with the goal to have their top three finalists chosen by July 31, in order to come together once again Aug. 14 to make a final decision.

From there, because the project will be funded through the DDA, which budgeted $10,000 for the project, it will have to go through and be approved by the DDA, as well as the City Council and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Knight said the project is slated to be discussed at the September zoning board meeting.

The committee had hoped to be expeditious with this project, but because of the need for the project to be approved by three different bodies, despite having an artist chosen by fall, completion of the mural could be held until as late as spring 2020. Weather may also become a factor in when the artist starts and completes the work.

For Freeman, that’s OK. He said time isn’t a factor.

“I am a patient man. If we need to wait for the right mural design and weather, I’m OK with that,” he said.

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