By DAVID BORAKS
With new town rules in place and an approved design in hand, local artist David Merck will begin work soon on a mural commissioned by Davidson Farmer’s Market on the side of the Summit Coffee building in downtown Davidson.
The colorful painting shows a bicycle in front of a farmer’s market tent surrounded by produce, flowers and musical instruments. Mr. Merck will paint on the street end of Summit’s south-facing wall, at 128 S. Main St., beginning the first week of September.
Although the farmer’s market organized the project, it has been a community effort, and has been funded independently, according to Kathy Pearce, who chairs the market board.
“We hope that it will be considered a positive by the community, and a nice addition for Main Street,” Ms. Pearce said Tuesday.
The mural has been funded by a Charlotte Arts & Science Council grant of $3,625, and $6,000 from the Kate MacIntyre Fund at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. The latter was arranged by local businessman Peter Macon, as a way to honor his late wife, who was Davidson’s downtown director and championed the formation of a farmer’s market here.
The mural has been in the works for at least a year, after early discussions among Davidson Farmer’s Market, Summit Coffee, local merchants and downtown supporters, including Mr. Macon. The farmer’s market board formed a subcommittee to study the idea, viewing it as “complementary to our mission with the market,” Ms. Pearce said.
Building owner Hugh Barger removed an old stucco layer on the bricks in March and April. And in June, the Town Board approved new rules to allow for exterior wall art on commercial buildings in the downtown historic district.
Mr. Merck was one of four artists who submitted proposals to the Davidson Farmer’s Market board.
As the project was being discussed by town officials earlier this summer, Ms. Pearce said the board was looking for an image that capture the market’s role in the community.
“We were looking for a vintage feel and an image that celebrates the Farmer’s Market and its role in community life,” she said. “The colors are warm and the image includes a bicycle, fruits and vegetables and flowers, a market tent, our signature pea pod and the cow bell from Carol Mayes’ farm which we use to ring open and to close the market.”
After the Town Board approved the new ordinance, the Design Review Board approved the design, requesting minor modifications.
Mr. Merck will begin painting in early September, and will be painting three Saturdays during market hours – Sept. 8, Sept 15 and Sept. 22. Marketgoers will be able to watch and ask Merck questions as he works. He’ll also be painting weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of September and a dedication is expected in early October.
“This mural project demonstrates our community’s support of regional agriculture, local food and community togetherness,” Davidson Farmer’s Market Manager Courtney Spear said in an announcement this week. “Having the town embrace this is such a great feeling for so many that helped the Market get started and those that continue making the market come to life every week.”
June 12, 2012, “Board delays budget vote, adopts new rules for protests” – coverage of the board meeting, including approval of the new rules allowing murals.
March 30, 2012, “Exterior makeover at Summit Coffee”
Oct. 22, 2007, Obituary for Kate MacIntyre.
Davidson Farmer’s Market website, davidsonfarmersmarket.org