Another Mural Is Taking Shape Off Central In Sidney

The next mural that has been commissioned by the Sidney Chamber of Commerce is coming to life on the south-facing wall of Brenner, Averett, and Co. and the front of the Sidney Probation and Parole office.

Local muralist, Afton Rossol, has been steadily adding more flowers and other details in an attempt to display her vision for the wall. She alone has been painting her mural there, but she will sometimes be visited by friends or family members who stop by to offer their support. Around Aug. 26 she started her painting on the wall with bright, yellow sunflowers and deep, purple coneflowers. As she continues, however, she will be adding other native flowers. The chamber expects it to be done by October, but as this is eastern Montana, that depends on a lot.

This is not her first mural and she is quite prolific as a professional artist. She was the one who painted the mural at Trendz, on south Central Ave. by Verizon Wireless. She also has several pieces displayed at 406 E. Realty by the hospital and did some of the centennial memorial pieces for the Richland County Fair and Rodeo wine glasses.

There are many reasons for the chamber to have murals put up around town. Some of the walls the chamber is having murals put on are shabby looking and in need of painting anyways. Some do not need repainting but are plain and are in prominent places. According to a 2020 article in Forbes Magazine called "America's Mural Magic: How Street Art Can Transform Communities And Help Businesses", people tend to want to see, spend time at, and take pictures of murals. Murals also tend to reduce the occurrence of graffiti. While the article tells of murals benefitting nearby businesses, Kali Godfrey, Sidney Chamber director said, "Our objective isn't to increase business in the two businesses that occupy the mural walls, but rather to beautify downtown and make it interactive for all to benefit from. Murals have several benefits including downtown beautification and reduction in crime. However, our main objective is to demonstrate community readiness for large-scale downtown vitalization projects.


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