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Artists Sought to Beautify City's Entrance

The Greater New Port Richey Main Street organization is putting out a call to artists interested in participating in a bench-painting project.

The Greater New Port Richey Main Street organization wants to make the city's entrance a little more welcoming.

 To this end, the nonprofit is looking for people who want to help beautify the bridge over the Pithlachascotee River at the western gateway to downtown. The group needs adult and youth artists who are willing to volunteer to paint murals of their own design on benches that sit along the bridge. Applications are now being accepted for the project. To be considered, artists need to submit proposals and sketches of their proposed murals.

The project involves 16 benches along the bridge. As of right now, Main Street officials say those benches are an eyesore.

"The benches look terrible," said Beth Fregger, Main Street's executive director.

The hope is to murals that are reflective of the Nature Coast and its plants or animals. Historic downtown themes are also wanted, Fregger said.

Main Street is dedicated to downtown beautification and historic preservation. The group has completed bench paintings on the bridge  in the past. The last attempt was about 10 years ago.

The project is hoped to not only make the entrance to downtown look better, but also to highlight Main Street's programs, Fregger said.

Each bench is 24 inches wide, 55 inches long and 18 inches high. The hope is to have eight benches painted by adults and eight by students.

Main Street will be providing basic supplies, but is asking artists to bring their favorite brushes.

The murals will be judged after the benches are painted, and awards will be given out in three categories: Best Student, Best Adult and People’s Choice.

The benches will be cleaned and prepped by Main Street prior to painting. Murals will remain for one full year after the event.

Artists selected for the project will paint their murals between Nov. 10-11.

If this project is successful, Main Street will tackle the other 16 benches along the bridge sometime in the future. 

To find out more about the application process, email Beth Fregger at beth@nprmainstreet.com  or call her at 727-842-8066.

John Henry September 05, 2012 at 10:34 AM
I believe they did this once before and then painted over them.
Spencer September 05, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I believed it'd represent and benefit the community more if school kids and youth groups painted the benches.
Kyrja September 05, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I sincerely wish you would consider much more COLORFUL and exciting themes than the current theme which runs through downtown NPR. How I would love to see SPLASHES of color! Whimisical illustrations! Fun stuff! Something FUTURISTIC - instead of dull, boring, and OLD. Isn't New Port Richey supposed to be a PLAYFUL city? Best of luck to all who apply - may you be allowed your artistic expressions and to let your inner child run free.
Jeff Cannon September 06, 2012 at 01:02 PM
John, yes you are correct about them being painted over and that was the original intention as the project was supposed to be ongoing from year to year and new murals added. This is why GNPRMS is working to revive the project, especially since it has been 10 years since they were last painted. To Spenceer, there is also a call out to the high schools for young artists to participate in this project.

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