Kingfield’s replacement mural underway ?? and more in the works

Kingfield artist Tammy Ortegon has been hard at work this month with the help of teen artists working on the neighborhood’s "Yemaya" replacement mural, painted on the west wall of Peter Pan Dry Cleaners, 322 W. 38th St.

Visiting Cuban muralist Lidia Aguilera S‡nchez painted a mural there last August at the urging of Niki Valens, co-owner of Victor’s 1959 Caf/, 3756 Grand Ave. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) provided funding.

The mural was named Yemaya, meaning "the goddess of the sea" in the Afro-Cuban culture and is the main female figure in the painting. However, KFNA didn’t ask building owner Sally Swadden for permission, and she demanded the mural be replaced with an ad for an area businesses.

Eventually, Swadden agreed to a replacement mural featuring the 38th & Grand businesses. In December, The Yemaya mural was moved two doors west to the Petersen Flowers building, 410 W. 38th St.

The replacement project is just the start to Kingfield’s 2004 summer mural program.

KFNA’s mural project pairs local artists with teen volunteers to add at least five murals to neighborhood walls, using NRP grant money.

Additional mural wills appear on the exteriors of:

– Luckygirl Gourmet Grocery, 3800 Grand Ave.

– Fairy Godmother 3801 Grand Ave.

– Curran’s Family Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Ave.

– Spectrum Travel, 3600 Nicollet Ave.

– Nicollet Auto Services, 3611 Nicollet Ave.

Ellen Thoennes-Keller, 14, is one of this mural project volunteers and a KFNA mural task force member. She participated in the Kingfield mural program last year and said she likes being able to see her work in the neighborhood. "That’s a really awesome feeling," she said. "Your friends look at you and are like — whoa, that’s cool.

Artists have already been chosen to lead the mural painting projects; however, the group needs more teen volunteers during July and August.

For more information about the project or to obtain an application, call Sarah Linnes-Robinson at the KFNA office at 823-5980 or e-mail kfna@email.com.