Community Participates in First Mural Session for Second Ditko Honor | New

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Robbin Hoffman and his grandchildren, Casen and Annika Bracken, signed up to paint the first mural honoring Steve Ditko, Johnstown native and co-creator of Spider-Man, but had to be put on a bucket list. waiting due to the amount of attendees.

On Saturday at Bottle Works Arts on 3rd Avenue, they had a chance to lend a hand now that community paint days for the second mural are underway.

“I love that they’re involved in community projects,” Hoffman said. “I want them to look at it for years and say, ‘I painted this section.'”

Annika Bracken, 8, said she loves painting, especially the messy aspect of art, while her brother said working on a mural that would hang on the side of a building “looked like fun “.

The second piece of public art will be installed at the rear of the Bottle Works Tulip building, opposite Ace’s, in the Cambria City area of ​​Johnstown.

The 93ft by 20ft mural, divided into 4 panels high and 19 wide, is printed on fabric and the same process used previously will be used again, said public art consultant Michael Allison.

He advised the Bottle Works on the first installation and helps again.

Allison said he enjoys wall painting, so it’s only natural for him to be involved in these projects.

He also said he thought it was wonderful that Ditko was honored in this way.

“I think more cities should look at their history and find people who have done important things and publicly honor them,” Allison said.

He added that the public art feature, like the Ditko murals, does just that.

This installation features characters the comic book legend has created throughout his career, from the superheroes he created for Marvel and DC comics, including Peter Parker, Blue Beetle and The Question, to those which he created by himself such as The Bat, Mr. A and The Cape. .

Matthew Lamb, Creative Director of Bottle Works, said Ditko has nearly seven decades of work in the comics world, describing the accomplishment as an impressive feat.

The new installation, created by California comic book creator Javier Hernandez, aims to represent this duration.

Lamb and his family were also helping paint signs on Saturday.

He said the public sessions are inspired by the success of the Mural Arts Philadelphia project.

“Once a community is involved and engaged, they love the murals instead of being forced upon them,” Lamb said.

Erin Dubnansky was another resident who had missed the opportunity to paint the previous time and was happy to help now.

“I think it’s really cool to be part of something so unique,” she said.

Dubnansky, her son and her mother participated in the mosaic in front of the Tulip Building and had a lot of fun with the project, she said.

Being able to look at the finished work and identify which section they contributed to is meaningful.

That’s why she wanted to help with the murals, Dubnansky said.

Each painting session is 30 minutes long and registration is required by calling Bottle Works at 814-535-2020.

The next session will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, followed by 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday; and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 21, 23 and 28.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5054. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

About Catharine C. Bean

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