It's not very often you can look at a blank canvas and see the exhaustive hours, the days soaked in sweat and the months of preparation behind the effort.
But that's exactly what you'll see if you visit the today during the Kent Heritage Festival.
Elaine Hullihen has blasting the layered years of old paint from the abutments of the Haymaker Parkway overpass bridge to ready the surface for .
The local artist and has been working on the mural proposal and design for more than a year.
For the past month, Hullihen and a number of volunteers have used a power washer, chisels and paint stripper to try and coax decades of paint from the concrete abutments of the bridge. The pillars must be bare in order for the paint from the new mural to adhere and create a lasting marker for the market.
Huillihen and her rabble of volunteers started laying the first coat of primer to the surfaces that will be repainted Friday. The second coat of primer will come Sunday. And then in the next few weeks the mural itself will start to take shape.
I write this brief column with one group of people in mind: taggers.
Until the mural comes to life, the bridge abutments will be bare. Stripped of years of graffiti and construction paint, the naked concrete offers a tempting target for graffito — artists and amateurs alike.
Elaine's meticulously prepped canvas will be vulnerable.
Yet I implore those who wield the spray can and the paint marker to leave the bridge abutments untouched. If nothing else, leave your mark off the bridge out of respect for the artist, her months of hard work and the beautiful imagery soon to be that will enrich the color of our lives for years to come.
So I ask you to spread the word. Let people know the bridge has been wiped clean of graffiti not out of disrespect, but to strengthen the Kent community by giving one of its core elements, the farmers market, a stronger sense of place.