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Willmar artist to paint community mural

WILLMAR — "Celebrating Community" is the theme for a mural to be painted for the Willmar Community Center by local artist Ron Adams.

The setting for the painting will be a park, using a band shelter (such as the one that used to be at Rice Park) as the centerpiece. The people in the mural will reflect the diversity of the Willmar community, including all ages and people of various ethnic and racial backgrounds. They will be engaged in music, dance, drawing, conversation and sports. It will be a celebration of community.

Adams, excited about what the painting can bring to the community, said: "This mural will be a dynamic expression of our community, embracing and celebrating our diversity. I hope it will convey, 'Welcome!' to all who come to the Center."

Claudia Cederstrom, chair of the Community Center Board echoes this sentiment: "At community meetings held last year, we heard that people want the Center to embrace and serve everyone in our community. This project moves us further in that direction."

Adams estimates the project will take 1,200 to 1,500 hours to complete. The 16-foot by 7-foot mural will be painted on four canvas panels so it can be moved, if and when another community center is built. It is anticipated that the mural will hang in the Burlington Northern Room on the wall opposite the kitchen upon its completion in May 2018. Adams will paint the mural in his home studio.

The Willmar Area Arts Council is the sponsor for the project. The goal is to raise $8,000 from community donations. All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive a receipt.

Fundraising began last Wednesday and $700 has already received. Adams will start the design once $1,500 in funds have been received.

Donations may be sent to Willmar Area Arts Council, PO Box 165, Willmar, MN 56201. For further information contact Janet Olney, executive director, by phone at 320-235-8560 or email