The art wall at Elsewhere Studios is in dire need of help.
What has fast become a focal point of the community, the wall at Elsewhere was created as an educational project and built by professionals and volunteers over a period of two years, said Elsewhere executive director, Karen Good. Time and weather have taken their toll, and efforts are under way to complete the project and make repairs.
Construction of the wall was a collaboration between Elsewhere, the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition and the Town of Paonia. It began as a community art project by local school teacher, Lauren Ziccardi, who was inspired by her work with the Village Building Convergence public arts project in Portland, Ore. Numerous organizations, businesses and individuals contributed to the effort.
Building methods included straw bale and cob construction (think Hobbit homes). Teams of artists and craftsmen built the wall by securing two rows of wood pallets in an upright position. The pallets were filled with wood chips, covered with chicken wire, covered in plaster, then finished in a durable lime plaster.
Throughout the process artists and craftsmen were busy installing mosaics with glass contributed by the North Rim Glass Studio in Crawford. They built a bench facing Third Street, and sculpted a butterfly, a hand and other features into the structure. They installed tiles and murals that tell stories and inspire creativity.
Elsewhere estimates that $5,000 is needed to repair and complete the project. An Indiegogo fundraising page has been established, and tax-deductible donations can be made directly to Elsewhere.
The wall attracts numerous positive comments, and visitors to town often stop to have their pictures taken, said Good. "We hope to continue it as a community asset."