EAST LIVERPOOL — Students, their families, city officials and local artist Craig Wetzel gathered at Quality Stamp at 432 Walnut to cut the ribbon until the city's final mural is completed.
Wetzel painted the brutal mural on the side wall of the seal of approval building.
Pupils at East Liverpool School sent their brutal drawings to Wetzel, who chose 20 of the approximately 150 drawings he received and painted them into the mural.
Zoya Rose, 7, was thrilled to see her pastel-striped monster wearing a crown as part of the mural. Zoya says that the idea for her monster came from having always liked purple and having a bed of different colors in her room. He added that he likes rainbows, so he decided to create a rainbow monster.
Eight-year-old Jess Barton, who wasn't entirely sure what inspired the sandwich monster, said she thought it would be cool to paint the monster on the wall and make it happy.
7-year-old Celine Temple brings her original drawing in a frame while she cuts the tape. He describes his monster as crazy because it's scary. Celine said she loved seeing her monster on the wall and it made her work.
Rayna Wheeler Flores, 9, who cut the ribbon at the ceremony, also shared with Wetzel her comments about the mural, telling her it takes a lot of eyes to fill in the blanks. He also told Wetzel that if he had a large gold cup, he would give it to him.
Witzel, who took time to stand in front of her monsters with the students, said the idea came from memories of a time when her younger son drew the large purple monster in the mural and had the idea for the organization. Contest For children to send their wild drawings.
Wetzel said that reducing the number of monsters to draw to twenty was a difficult decision.
"I chose some of them as beasts of the hour," Wetzel said, "because they were too original to take." "I could have chosen many, so I chose the one that best suited the composition. I had enough to do three or four monster murals. It was difficult. There were many good paintings.”
This is the first mural by Wetzel, who lives in East Liverpool. On Wednesday he spent 14 days drawing and completing the project, but the project has been in the works since June.
"It's wonderful to see the kids get out of the car and see their animals, see their eyes widen and their mouths open, " Wetzel said.
This is the fifth mural to be erected in the city in the past six months, according to Mayor Greg Bricker.
The murals are funded by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, East Liverpool Auxiliary Women's Club, Columbiana County Bank and Heritage.
According to Bricker, the idea of the citywide murals was something they started as part of an urban renewal plan.
Bricker said they've been trying to get the murals for a while, and in addition to Wetzel, they've teamed up with students at Youngstown State University to get some work done, as well as "Ross Baker from Steubenville."
The mayor has indicated that they are looking for more space to put up murals and more money for them.
"We're looking for as many donations as possible, " Bricker said. “You just have to look up and down Fifth Street and see the buildings where they used to be. So part of our revitalization process is to provide as much funding as possible.
Bricker also noted that the city hopes to do more by the end of the year. There is still a job, but it needs space and funding.