Above Photo: GAAC Member Karen Odden works with RCW Youth
By: Nicole Zempel
Many will say convergence is a beautiful thing, and the most recent splash of color adorning the exterior of the historic K.K. Berge Building is just that.
And, as with most things, there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to the stunning mural/mosaic.
Rich in detail, it’s very likely that observers will notice something different each time they pass by the abstract river inspired scene.
In addition to the variety of rock, clay, glass, and even broken dishes that comprise the mural/mosaic - that will continue to reveal themselves in time, so too will the names of various individuals and businesses.
This is because the mural/mosaic includes the names of roughly two hundred individuals and businesses that contributed to the salvage and re-purpose of the K.K. Berge Building.
And for Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization (GFRR), the organization responsible for the four year effort to save the building from demolition, the integration of donor names into the mural/mosaic represents a long-time promise fulfilled.
“This has been on our to-do list a long time, said GFRR President, Steve Virnig. “We wanted to do something really special to honor the original donors that helped save the building.”
Following the sale of the building in October of 2013 to the Granite Area Arts Council, local artist and Granite Area Arts Council President Tamara Isfeld saw an opportunity to realize her desire for a community mural/mosaic art piece.
“The building didn’t look much like an art building, it needed some color added to it,” said Isfeld. “Talking with GFRR, they were looking for a way to list donor names, and so the two ideas came together.”
With funding provided by GFRR, the project was underway this past March with the Granite Area Arts Council open invite for community members to come to the K.K. Berge building and work on the mural/mosaic, which Isfeld likens to “piecing together a puzzle.”
Also an RCW art teacher, she saw a wonderful opportunity to involve her students. “This project connects them to community and they are learning how to give back.”
And, as Virnig says, “It just goes to show, if you get the community involved, anything can happen.”
Involving so many people, of all ages, seems to make the mural/mosaic an all the more fitting tribute by honoring one community effort with another.