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Madison Dogs Mural

Supporting the Arts and our Community

As seen in our July Newsletter.

Madison Dog Park Mural
Benjamin Moore Arborcoat solid color stain was used by art students to create this mural.

Excerpted from a note written by Pat S. Conti, Chair, MCAA Sponsor Group
On behalf of the Sponsor Group of the Madison Community Canine Area (MCCA), I would like to thank Color Wheel and Charlie Boswell. This exciting project could not have been brought to fruition without his generous contributions of time, materials, and advice.

Dog Park Mural from Idea to Completion
About a year ago, Phyllis Russo presented the mural idea to our Sponsor Group. She proposed that we install artwork at the MCCA to enhance the experience of dog park users and the community in general. The idea was to have high school students participate to fulfill the community service requirement needed to graduate.  

After we discussed and agreed to explore the idea, we spoke with Arlington County liaison, Lyndell D. Core, Park Services Area Manager. Phyllis reached out to gauge the interest of nearby high schools and approached Charlie about donating the paint.

We’ve received nothing but generous support, expertise, and invaluable advice from Charlie. 
  • He talked us through the myriad choices of paints available for such a project.
  • He helped us choose the appropriate products and basic colors.
  • He explained the durability of the products, treatment of the surface areas (initially wood, then changed to PVC), and whether we needed to apply anything to seal or protect the final product.
  • He explained how the paints would stand up to weather, sunlight, and the harsh environment at the dog park. 
Initially we planned to have the students paint the mural directly on part of a 6-foot-tall fence surrounding the park. After careful inspection, Arlington County experts determined the wood fence was not in satisfactory condition to accommodate the mural. It was more than 10 years old and would require a second power washing in as many years, carpentry repairs, and a treatment before paint would adhere properly.  

Arlington County recommended that the mural be painted on PVC panels that they would fastened to the fence. This allowed the students to work on the project at their school without weather concerns or the need to close the park to protect the artwork from curious dogs. Presented with a new work surface, we returned to Charlie for more advice.

We delivered the PVC panels provided by Arlington County and the Arborcoat stain to Hiromi Isobe, Department Chair, Visual Arts, at Washington-Lee High School. 

Hiromi provided guidance and support to her students and they did the rest. We understand several students were involved and they signed the artwork, but we've been told that Katerina Forrest played a leading role in the project. Katerina, who will be attending George Mason University in the fall, won first place in this year's Congressional Art Competition. Her artwork will be displayed at Capitol Hill for one year. 

Katerina Forrest with completed muralOne thing that struck us was how brilliant the mural turned out since we provided so few colors. We understand the stains were mixed to create a veritable rainbow of beautiful colors. 

Again, we sincerely appreciate Color Wheel's support for this exciting community project.
From Hiromi Isobe,
Department Chair, Visual Arts, 
Arlington Public Schools
My Art II students (a group of 3) came up with the dog park mural draft and Arlington County approved the plan. When we received the PVC boards, Katerina Forrest (shown above) made minor changes to the size and orientation of the mural. Katerina and a handful of students worked on the mural for 3 weeks. We talked constantly about how we could improve the mural images. My students made the mural better each and every day.