Work has stalled on the transformation of the concrete below the Interstate 240 overpass and alongside Lexington Avenue in Asheville into a brightly colored scene complete with mosaics and mirrors. The mural project needs a cash infusion: about $10,000 to $15,000 to finish.
“We are out of money,” says Molly Must, the project’s organizer.
Painting has taken longer than anticipated—so the scaffold rental has been more expensive than was originally budgeted. Must would be happy to find a builder who could loan scaffolding, and the project needs more money to complete the unfinished pillars.
“We have enough paint and sealer to finish, we just need scaffolding and a stipend for the artists: Paying artists for their work, although it is a small amount on a per hour basis, is important to us,” Must says.
The Asheville Mural Project, working under the nonprofit group Arts2People, has received about $10,000 from the city of Asheville, Greenlife Grocery, The EcoBuilders and the Downtown Asheville Residents Network, among others. Sherwin-Williams has provided paint and primer and Paul Dixon has put in work on the project.
Must, a landscaper by day, and five other artists have worked on the mural before and after their regular jobs. They’re currently doing some painting on the places they can reach without scaffolding, but can’t move forward until they raise more funds.
A fundraiser for the project will be held at the YMI Cultural Center on Saturday, Dec. 20. The 7 p.m. event will feature a buffet-style dinner with 15 to 20 local independent restaurants donating food, including Bouchon, Mela, The Marketplace and Early Girl. There will be music, an art auction, live painting, speakers and a slideshow showing the progress of the mural. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Individual tickets are $35. They’re available at Malaprop’s, by calling Must at 582-6951 or the YMI at 252-4614, or by visiting the Arts2People Web site at www.arts2people.org.
“It’s been an incredible learning experience, and we’re learning how to be more efficient,” Must says.
If you want to make a donation to the project, go to the Arts2people Web site or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.