It's been 14 years since the first murals appeared along the floodwall in downtown Maysville and they have begun to show their age.
This summer, muralist Herb Roe, one of the leading artists on the projects for Dafford Murals, was contracted to give the murals a face-lift. The project was contracted out by Limestone Economic Development, the 501(3)(c) nonprofit entity through which the Maysville-Mason County Floodwall Mural operated until 1997.
Roe left Dafford Murals several years ago to begin his own business and arrived in July for the six-week project of touching up faded paint, repairing cracks due to floodwall deterioration and to apply a clear coat to seal out moisture and preserve the paint. The work was completed Saturday.
While the maintenance project wasn't as expensive as commissioning a mural, which can be $25,000, L.E.D. Treasurer Tom Coe said the cost was substantial and Roe has recommended yearly maintenance to insure the longevity of the murals.
Coe said this year's maintenance project cost $15,700, and was paid through a fund set up by the Maysville Rotary Club. The fund was established at the beginning of the mural project, with the specification the money be used for maintenance of the murals.
Now, three years past the suggested 10-year maintenance schedule, Coe said he has been given a maintenance schedule by Roe that includes the repainting of two murals next year, and annual maintenance of all the murals thereafter.
Deterioration of the floodwall brought about the necessity of repairing and repainting the Germantown Fair mural, at the intersection of McDonald Parkway and Market Street. The paint had begun to peel away from the wall in several areas and mineral deposits were staining the image, which was painted in 2005.
Roe also touched up the paint and washed away mineral deposits on the murals fronting the French Quarter Inn parking lot, the Market Street mural and the Rosemary Clooney and Russell Theatre murals.
Two murals, the 1900s Riverfront mural next to the French Quarter Inn and the Tobacco Barn mural were not included in this year's maintenance because of the need to totally repaint and seal them.
Coe said the cost of restoring the two murals in 2012 is approximately $13,000 and he is seeking community support once again for the project.
Yearly maintenance of all 11 murals is projected to be at least $8,000 beginning in 2013 to keep conditions "up to speed," according to a price quote from Roe.
During the 10 years of creating the murals, donations were solicited and received from individuals, businesses and foundations.
And while the Rotary fund has been reserved for maintenance, the cost of $13,000 to $15,000 two years in a row will severely impact monies available for future maintenance, said Coe.
Donations to the Maysville-Mason County Floodwall Mural project are tax deductible and can be sent to: Limestone Economic Development, P.O. Box 614, Maysville, Ky. 41056. For more information about donating, contact Coe at 606-883-3602 or via email at email@example.com.