Haymaker Farmers' Market Revives Mural Project
Donation/collaboration with Kent State's Wick Poetry Center gets project back on track.
New life has been breathed into the public art project first proposed two years ago for the Haymaker Farmers’ Market site on Franklin Avenue – just in time for the popular gathering spot’s 20th anniversary this summer.
Manager Kelly Ferry announced on the market’s Facebook page Tuesday that “we are halfway to our goal of $10,000 needed to fund the Haymaker Farmers’ Market Mural Project.”
Kent artist Elaine Hullihen will incorporate scenes of the market and Kent’s unique history throughout the mural to be painted on the columns and lintels under the Haymaker Parkway viaduct where it passes over the market site.
“This public art project will give the market a true sense of place in the city of Kent, while also beautifying an area that is undernourished during the off-season,” Ferry wrote to market friends Tuesday.
“Imagine visiting the market with this stunning artwork as the backdrop, or driving past in the middle of winter and seeing this reminder of the bountiful season to come,” she added.
Ferry credits the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University for bringing the project back to life “with a major donation” and a partnership that will further enhance the mural with quotes from area schoolchildren.
Wick, she said, is working with students in Holden Elementary School’s Garden Project to write poetry about gardens, fresh food, farms and the market. Hullihen will work lines of this inspiring poetry into her mural art.
Getting someone to spearhead the project and solicit corporate sponsors was another problem, as those interested in helping were market vendors whose busiest time of year is summer.
But now, in the dead of winter, things are looking sunny for the mural project. Ferry reports that the city has taken over the lease for the Franklin Avenue lot used by the market “and assures us that we may continue holding the market at that location.”
Monetary donations made ages ago by the Kent Jaycees and Kent Kiwanis still stand, as does Sue Nelson Designs' offer of providing paint for the project at cost. And Ferry said the market itself is now in a position to “kick in a couple thousand” toward the project.
Ferry is hopeful that other community organizations, businesses and individuals are willing to make donations to get the project to its $10,000 goal. The names of those who donate $100 or more by March 15 will be included on a panel that will be a permanent part of the mural. Those who donate $500 or more will also receive a market T-shirt and shopping tote.
Donations made out to the Haymaker Farmers’ Market Mural Project can be mailed to Kelly Ferry at 875 Vine St., Kent OH 44240.
Donors of all amounts will be recognized at the mural unveiling, which Ferry hopes to hold in late June or early July. Holden students will attend the unveiling celebration to “read their poetry and see their words transformed into an important piece of the fabric of Kent,” she said.
The winter version of the market will resume from 9 a.m. to noon March 17 at Theodore Roosevelt High School. Details about other winter sessions can be found on the market’s website. Opening day for the outdoor market under the Haymaker bridge will be May 19.