New cycling themed mural for Fred Bodsworth Library

·2 min read

The north side of the Fred Bodsworth Public Library in Port Burwell will be painted with a new cycling themed mural, expected to be installed by fall.

It is budgeted at $7,800 and will be funded through the Donna Vera Evans Bushell Estate. Bayham councillors discussed the matter at a virtual council meeting on Thursday, March 18.

Deputy Mayor Rainey Weisler said it would be a welcome addition to that area, and that she is in full support.

Mayor Ed Ketchabaw also expressed his support, and said, “It’s through a grant that the library has in order to take on this initiative. The only comment of concern is that it’s the north face that faces the pavilion and I’m not sure how well it’s going to be seen by the general public out there.”

The request to install the mural at this location came from Mike Baker, Elgin County museum and archives manager.

The museum has recently become a recipient of a bequest from the Donna Vera Evans Bushell Estate, with funding to be used towards a series of area projects over the next several years.

About $75,000 of the funding is to “animate the existing network of cycling trails throughout Elgin County by adding new murals and signs along these trails in collaboration with private and public partners, and emphasize the theme of transportation,” according to the bequest.

County staff discussed possible locations with the estate’s representative, and concluded that the county library branches would be the best spot for the murals. They are located on existing or planned cycling routes, and branch distribution allows each municipality to participate in the project.

The county will issue a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ) in spring. Artists will be invited to submit proposals to the county’s purchasing coordinator in April. Those meeting pre-qualification requirements will be given about six weeks to complete a proposed image for each site for which the artist wishes to be considered.

Elgin staff will make the final decision on artists and murals based off scoring criteria. Work will be awarded on a site-specific basis, and up to six artists could be engaged in the project.

Anti-graffiti coating will be applied to the finished mural, and the county will be responsible for maintenance.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express