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Local artist Wesley May selected for mural design on city building

 A selection committee has chosen a mural design by local artist Wesley May for the side of the Wastewater Treatment plant in Bemidji.

The mural is planned to go on the east side of the digester building, which faces Paul Bunyan Drive South. It depicts the head of a bald eagle inside a drop of water, as well as wings that appear to double as leaves of a plant.

“Just as this image began with a simple yet powerful line, sustaining life begins with a single drop of water,” May wrote in a description of the artwork to the committee. “Flowing along the lines of a loving relationship, we are drawn to protect this resource in a respectful manner.”

Plant co-superintendent Mike Forbes said Thursday the mural is part of an effort to connect the public artworks that populate downtown to some of the more aesthetically barren portions of the city farther to the south as part of an “arts way corridor.”  

May was selected from an initial pool of seven applicants who were narrowed down to three finalists, Forbes said.

“I think it will have great recognizable appeal,” Forbes said. “People are going to see it, and really like it.”

The project is budgeted at about $22,000, Forbes said. May plans to begin painting in August and finish by Labor Day, he said.

The City Council is scheduled to decide whether to approve the mural at its meeting Monday.

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