RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande is working on a mural along Ohio 588 to welcome newcomers and locals alike to Rio Grande as the village expands its art outreach.
According to Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter, Emalea Rupe is the artist that is working on the mural and has also painted the village dragon along West College Street as well as paintings in Rio Grande Memorial Park.
“I love how towns embrace art and murals and local artists,” said Easter. “I met Emily through a couple other conjoined projects in the town. We worked with Calvary Baptist Church and took the idea to them because they have this wonderful retaining wall that was itching to have something on it, in my opinion. We worked with the local Pastor Vinton Rankin. He took it to the church.”
Easter said the church approved the idea and then Easter approached Rupe.
“It’s our highest traffic area,” said Easter. ” Emily came up with a design. It will have some trees and birds and say ‘Welcome to Rio Grande.’ I’m proud of the project with us all working together. The more art we can bring to town and the more beautification of the town (the better).”
According to the mayor, the church retains ownership of the wall and helped prepare and clean the location for painting before Rupe set to work. The village funded the project. About a month ago, the idea was brought before the village council and approved before paint finally touched concrete.
“It’s an awesome project and we think it looks really great,” said Easter of the planned mural.
Rupe and Rankin were unavailable as of press time for comment.
This story has been edited to reflect that the mural has not yet been completed. The Tribune apologizes for the error and strives for accuracy.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.