Earlier this year, ceramicist Alex Irvine and painter Ian Wilkinson won the city project, as well as $25,000 in taxpayer money to complete it. The mural was recently unveiled during a special ceremony.
But the artists ran into a couple of major stumbling blocks. First, the city of Asheville cut the power to a number of structures in the River Arts District citing safety concerns, including The Tannery studio that Irvine and Wilkinson were renting to finish their project. The two toiled in the summer heat as they sped to get the mural ready for installation.
Second, the piece required special engineering and other costs to be sure it wouldn’t fall off the side of the building on which it was installed. Kyle Sherard at the Mountain Xpress reported the issue:
Irvine and Wilkinson enlisted Robert Steffen, a professor of engineering at Western Carolina University, to help with reinforcing the walls. The task required threading rebar anchors and stainless steel wiring into the existing wall. This was in addition to an industrial strength epoxy used to adhere the tiles to the wall. The epoxy was strong enough by itself, but the wall required the additional reinforcement for safety compliance.
Now a gofundme campaign has been set up to raise money for Daydreamer and Irvine and Wilkinson. It appears to me that supporters of the artists have set up this fundraising campaign, although I haven’t confirmed that. So far, more than $1,300 of the $5,000 goal has been raised to be the sure the artists don’t go into debt on their work. From the campaign:
Asheville is a city people flock to because of its vibrant art scene. Let’s not forget the individual artists who create this culture we value so much. Help us to raise $5000 to make up for the costs Alex and Ian incurred. Let’s all do what we can, and make a statement by our giving. Let’s feed our artists, and thank them for making our city more beautiful by what they have made.
In the event we raise any additional money past the goal, it will go directly to the artists to let them know how much we appreciate their hard work.