OU Art Students Spruce Up Athens Bread Co. with Mural< < Back to
What was once a long, blank white wall on the side of the Athens Bread Company on East State Street is now a vibrant work of art thanks to Ohio University College of Art + Design professor John Sabraw and the students in his Art and Entrepreneurship class.
Sabraw said he lives in the eastside neighborhood and began investigating the Athens Bread Co. once he began smelling freshly baked bread. He started talking to the shop’s owner, Doug Wistendahl, who mentioned that he’d like to have some sort of art on the side of the building.
As an artist and professor, Sabraw offered his services to transform the white wall into a landscape scene, which incorporates Dow Lake as well as a Tuscany wheat field.
“It was just a long, blank wall that was kind of ugly and it didn’t really add much to the wooden facade of the shop,” Wistendahl said. “I was looking for some kind of minimalist art or even some sophisticated graffiti.”
Sabraw and his 17 students began designing the mural for the 90-foot-long wall in January. They then spent a long time sanding, scraping and priming the wall for the mural. The painting commenced once the weather cooperated. The piece is slated to be complete by the end of the week.
Wistendahl said he was a little shocked with how bright the mural was at first, but said Thursday he was really pleased with how it’s turning out.
“They’re under budget and ahead of schedule,” Wistendahl said of the students. Wistendahl is footing the bill for the materials for the project.
Wistendahl said it’s been fun watching the students work and seeing their enthusiasm.
“I think it’s great that John has introduced them to the business side of art as well,” he said. “They’ve really done their homework.”
According to Sabraw, he likes to have at least one community project for his students a year to better connect them to the Athens community.
“To me, college is about creating good citizens and teaching them how to use their own skills and talents to help the community find their own strengths,” Sabraw said.