Clarence Hollow might add a touch of artistic flair next spring.
Members of the Clarence Hollow Association are planning to create a mural on an exterior wall of The Hollow Bistro and Brew restaurant at Main and Bank streets in the hamlet. Supporters picture the mural, which would be visible to drivers headed east on Main, as a way to draw more attention to the Clarence Hollow as a destination for shopping and dining.
“It’s really going to brighten up the Hollow,” said Kathy Ward-Lovejoy, a local artist involved in the effort. “People will slow down to see it and, hopefully, they’ll stop and enjoy it.”
The mural was discussed at the Hollow Association’s annual membership meeting on Thursday.
Plans call for creating the mural on metal panels in an artist’s studio over the winter and installing them on the bistro’s wall in the spring when the weather improves, Ward-Lovejoy said.
Organizers were not ready to release a copy of the mural’s design. “We kind of want to get it to be more concrete before we show it to the public,” said Katie Yu, owner of the bistro.
Ward-Lovejoy said the design will be “an eclectic grouping of the present and the past,” with images such as the bike path, churches, farming, transportation and food. “It’s so hard to decide which elements to include, but we think we have a broad overview of the feel of Clarence, [a] very happy and colorful mural.”
The organizers will team up with noted muralist Augustina Droze, who has worked on projects around the world, including in Buffalo. Droze is now locally based and continues to work internationally, Ward-Lovejoy said.
Backers of the mural say they will launch a fundraising effort to help pay for it but have not yet determined the project’s cost.
Separately, a farm animal-themed mural was unveiled earlier this year at the Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market.
In other news from Thursday’s meeting:
• Plans are taking shape for Hollow Fest, July 4 to 6 at Main Street Town Park.
Paul Cambria, owner of Gianni Mazia’s and a Hollow Association board member, said the festival will be comparable to Old Home Days in Williamsville and the Labor Day Fair in Clarence Center. The event will include rides, entertainment and participation from local restaurants.
• Cambria suggested the town create a small amphitheater at the base of a hill that rises behind the farmers’ market site. “You could have concerts, lectures and lots of things,” he said. “It would be attractive, it would be cultural, it would be something that promotes the arts. And I think a small community like this is a natural for promoting the arts.”