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Final piece of mural project dedicated

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | August 16, 2022 5:07 PM

MOSES LAKE — A mural depicting some of the attractions of Grant County, designed with the help of people who attended the Grant County Fair in the last few years, got its official unveiling Tuesday morning.

Columbia Basin Allied Arts director Shawn Cardwell said the project started about 2016, and was and is designed to add art in and around the fairgrounds. It evolved a little over the years, she said.

The mural, on a water cistern across Airway Drive from the fairgrounds, depicts flora and fauna found in Grant County, along with a rider on horseback.

Artist Erika Kovalenko, Moses Lake, said she’s done a lot of murals in her career.

“This has been one of my funnest pieces to paint,” she said.

The mural grew out of the “Pieced Together” project, originally sponsored by the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center, Cardwell said. The project was designed to add more visual art to the fairgrounds and to get people at the fair involved in making it. The CBAA and Moses Lake Museum worked on the project together, with the help of local businesses and the Icicle Fund, a philanthropic organization based in Leavenworth.

Artists set up shop during the fair, worked on murals that can be installed and taken down at the fairgrounds, and invited people at the fair to participate.

In 2016 Kovalenko painted one of the murals and enlisted fairgoers to paint the border. Fair attendees also helped Kovalenko paint a mural during the 2019 fair. Fair attendees were asked for their suggestions for the design, and the cougar head on the mural is one of the results.

“Every kid wanted to draw a cougar on this mural,” Cardwell said.

Kovalenko said she also took inspiration from the sights and sounds of Grant County.

“I wanted to capture the spirit of this place,” she said.

She’s received a positive response from people who’ve seen it, she said.

The mural was finished earlier this year. The project was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled the 2020 Grant County Fair, and by a redesign after some concerns were expressed about the original design.

The dedication ceremony featured music, bubbles, a little sparkling cider and a lot of smiles.

“So many years in the making,” Cardwell said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Bubbles filled the air during the dedication of the last mural in the “Pieced Together” project Tuesday. Leslie Ramsden (left) and Shawn Cardwell (right) do the honors.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Leslie Ramsden (left) and Shawn Cardwell (right) add a few bubbles to the celebration during the dedication of the last mural in the “Pieced Together” project.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Erika Kovalenko and her son Konan raise a glass of sparkling cider in celebration of the completion of the “Pieced Together” mural project.

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FILE PHOTO

The mural may be seen across from the Grant County Fairgrounds for those taking in the fair this week.

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