After months of preparation, painting has now commenced on a mural on the public staircase between Kluver Law and Christa Landmark Boutique on 1st Street in Montevideo. The public is invited to stop by and observe Minneapolis-based artist Victoria Fortenberry-Jones as she works throughout the weekend. If all goes according to plan, the mural will be finished by Sunday evening. 

The mural is river-themed and features several drawings of riverine fauna contributed by Montevideo residents. Fortenberry-Jones said her mosaic-style design was inspired by Karl Unnasch’s Rustician – the stained-glass tractor on the opposite end of 1st Street. Both projects were organized by the Montevideo Arts Project (MAP), a volunteer group dedicated to “advancing the inspiring power of art in public places.”

Throughout the summer, several local residents have donated time and labor to help prepare the staircase for painting. Montevideo City Councilman Dan Sanborn and former City Manager Steve Jones worked with city crews to clear brush around the staircase in June. Local business-owner Dennis Larson donated the rocks that were artfully placed along the staircase to enhance the river theme. Fortenberry-Jones worked with the city and Sanborn to prepare the steps for painting in July.

A dedication ceremony for the new mural is planned for Sunday, September 8 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be free and will feature food, door prizes and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Montevideo Arts Project still needs to raise several thousand dollars to reach its budget for this project.  A grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, which is being used to launch the project, requires local matching funds. Any individual or business donating $250 or more will get their name listed on a permanent sign that will be placed at the mural. Tax deductible contributions can be sent to MAP Project #4, City of  Montevideo, PO Box 517. Montevideo, MN 56265.

The project is being made possible by contributions from the voters of Minnesota through a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  For more information, contact Tesa Siverhus Maus at the Montevideo Chamber of Commerce at (320)269-5527.