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Grant allows library to paint mural

This rendering shows what the Red Wing Public Library might look like after an artist paints a mural in the children's section. The library received a grant from Southeastern Libraries Cooperating to fund the project.

The Red Wing Public Library will soon receive a splash of color.

Earlier this year library staff obtained a grant from Southeastern Libraries Cooperating. The library will use those funds this autumn to hire artist Greg Preslicka to paint a large mural in the children's section of the library.

"The whole thing is to make the children's area stand out and be inviting to children," Librarian Pat Martin said.

The mural will be a colorful, child-friendly representation of how books can spark the human imagination, Martin said. Library staff said the mural should liven the library's atmosphere, given that the walls are currently rather drab.

"Well, take a look. There is no color," Library Director James Lund said.

The library is inviting the public to a community presentation from 1 to 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 and 13, during which people can watch Preslicka work. Preslicka will discuss his artistic process and the concepts he uses to create his murals.

On those same days children are invited at 10:30 a.m. to paint their own paper murals alongside Preslicka's painting.

The library is also hosting an open house on Dec. 20 to show off its new look.

Martin said the library chose Preslicka to paint the mural because staff was impressed by work he's done in the Zumbrota and Pine Island libraries.

Ten percent of the $15,042 grant from SELCO will go toward the purchase of books, which Martin said is especially helpful, given the library cut its 2011 book budget in half.