SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – A mural on the side of the Reyers building in downtown Sharon is 4,500 square feet of dreaming into the future.
Many people came together to create the work of art, which was unveiled Wednesday at a dedication ceremony that drew a crowd of about 150 people.
The mural is a big one. It’s about 180 feet long and as tall as a strip plaza building.
Hannah Wilhelm, an artist who graduated from Badger, stood under it this afternoon. She was the model for the central figure — the woman peering through a spyglass.
“I’m a 24-year-old potter in Sharon, Pennsylvania and now knowing that my face is on a giant wall, I guess it’s still surreal to me. It’s still a shock to me and it’s an honor,” Wilhelm said.
From concept to completion, it took just seven days. The designer and primary artist was Joel Bergner.
“It’s all about looking into the future and dreaming about bigger things,” Bergner said.
The mural is part of the Park Inn by Raddison’s “Adding Color to Lives” initiative. Ten such murals — all done by Bergner — have been painted in depressed areas of Africa and Europe.
“He’s actually done everything from refugee camps to actual schools. The outside of a prison, I believe, was another,” said T.J. Walk, a sales manager at the West Middlesex hotel who headed the effort to bring Bergner to Sharon.
The Sharon mural was the first Park Inn by Raddison project in the United States.
Walk has been planning this day since August.
“I woke up crying this morning and I’ve kind of just been doing it all day,” he said.
Thirteen Farrell High School students — part of Sharon’s new Hope Center for Arts and Technology program — help with the planning, painting, and artwork. Their part in the project was recognized several times during Wednesday’s dedication program.
“We didn’t think it would be possible in five days, but we came through it. We did an amazing job,” Katelyn Keeler said.
Reyers owners Mark and Steve Jubelirer are thrilled the mural ended up on the side of their store.
“We love it,” Steve said. “We think this is one of the greatest things that’s happened to our location in many, many years.”
In true artist protocol, everyone who worked on the painting signed their names on the corner closest to the storefront.