CLAYSVILLE – A local artist wants the sprawling mural she’s painting in Claysville to come alive with history by showcasing real people and the borough’s famous Central Hotel.
Diane Adams, a 1975 McGuffey graduate who resides in Buffalo Township, began the project last fall, sponsored by the Claysville Area Preservation and Revitalization Initiative to transform a blank white wall on the side of the borough’s community center into a work of art.
As a way to raise the $10,000 needed to create the mural, Adams and CAPRI came up with a twist that allows the community to have a say in how the finished product will appear. Anyone who donates $500 or more is allowed to have a likeness of himself or a relative included in the painting, standing in front of the old Central Hotel on Route 40.
“It’s a way to tie the community into the project,” Adams said, expecting a dozen or so people to be included in the mural. “Everyone will be looking for someone they know.”
Donations from 33 people have ranged from $10 to $1,000, and the project has raised about $6,000 total. Adams has reworked her vision for the painting several times as more people have given money to have a relative included. She even agreed to include a replica of an antique car owned by one resident who donated $500.
Adams and Cheyenne Burnsworth, a McGuffey High School junior working with her on the project, restarted the mural in late April by drawing grids on the wall, and they hope to finish the painting during the summer. The duo began painting the maroon-colored car last fall so people could see the project had started after it had been discussed for more than five years.
“This is a mural people have been talking about for years. It’s a relief (to get started),” Adams said. “I’ve always wanted to do one in my own town.”
Adams has painted hundreds of murals in homes and businesses, including working on the Trail Towns project along the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail in Meyersdale, Somerset County. This project is special because of where it’s located.
Meanwhile, Cheyenne, a blooming artist, offered to help Adams with other projects, but was drawn to the mural. She’s now using the painting as part of her senior project at McGuffey.
“I like to be able to create something and put my mind to it,” Cheyenne said, adding the scale grid has been a challenge. “I’ve never done something this big. I’ve never tried to take something so small and make it so big.”
The next steps are to recreate the historic Central Hotel, which also was known as the Claysville Hotel until its demolition in 2005. The mural on the side of the Claysville Community Center next to the gazebo will be in the shadow of the former hotel site that now is an apartment complex for senior citizens.
“Even though we don’t have much on the wall right now, it’s nice that people are noticing it and appreciative,” Adams said.
People still have time to donate to the project and request that a relative be included, Adams said. Anyone who would like to donate money can do so by sending a check payable to CAPRI to P.O. Box 522, Claysville, PA 15323, or sending the donation to Claysville Community Bank at 200 Main St.