Walking tour will show off three downtown murals

Thursday event features entries in annual Summer of Murals contest

By Amy Fischer, Columbian City Government Reporter

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Downtown Vancouver’s newest murals are making their formal debut this week.

The public is invited to take a walking tour of Vancouver’s new murals Thursday with Destination Downtown and the Clark County Mural Society.

The group will meet at 11:30 a.m. at The Columbian, 701 W. Eighth St., and stroll through downtown to see the three entries for the fourth annual Summer of Murals contest. The artists will be present to talk about the inspiration for their eye-catching paintings on the walls of The Columbian, Luepke Flowers and Finds, and the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. The tour, which is a little less than a mile long, ends at 12:30 p.m. at the chamber, 1101 Broadway.

This year’s theme is “100-plus years of community.” The idea was to create “creative, colorful, inventive interpretations of the rich history and cultural development of the community,” according to the mural society’s website. www.ccmurals.org.

On the tour, participants can vote for their favorite mural using their smart phones. Others can vote on the mural society’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ClarkCountyMuralSociety.

Six judges appointed by the mural society will choose the winners for each prize, basing their selection on originality, content, quality, appeal and adherence to the theme and contest rules. The Summer of Murals contest awards $3,000 for the first-place winner, $2,000 for second place, $1,500 for third place and $500 for the “People’s Choice Award.” (Most of the prize money was donated by local businesses.)

Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Friday at the chamber as part of the First Friday events.

The three new murals brings the total number of murals in downtown Vancouver to 24. For a map of the mural sites and photos, go to www.ccmurals.org.