Pygmalions unveils new mural


Pygmalion's Art Supplies celebrates the opening of their new mural entitled "Red Studio", designed and painted by Bloomington artist, Jim Sampson. This mural project is the store's most recent contribution to the local arts community, which they have long supported since their establishment in 1972. Emily Weinstein and Emily Weinstein

Pygmalion’s Art Supplies recently unveiled its new mural, which was painted by local artist Jim Sampson.

Pygmalion’s owner John Wilson said the old mural was decrepit and falling apart.

It was on the outside wall of the store facing Grant Street. and depicted people dancing in a circle, he said.

The old mural didn’t have any correlation to the store and the owners decided it was time for a change, Wilson said.

Sampson shops at the store and the owners asked him if he would be interested in providing them with a new piece for their wall.

Jane Otten, former owner of Pygmalion’s, is a long-time fan of Sampson’s work and wanted him to design and paint the mural.

Sampson accepted their offer and designed the mural to go along with the store and the items it sells. He included many different art supplies and painted in a bold style, according to ?Pygmalions.

The mural depicts an artist’s studio with only a bare light illuminating an easel, which has a painting of a woman with a vase of tulips.

To the left of the easel are two cats, Alice and Kiki, who are the resident cats of Pygmalion’s and have been part of the store for many years.

The patterns of the fabrics that the cats sit on are inspired by decorative papers that the store sells.

The tulips in the painting are inspired by the garden flowers in front of the store during the summer months.

“It’s fantastic,” Wilson said. “Jim did a spectacular job on it.”

Wilson said the store and Sampson followed strict guidelines to make sure the mural would be able to withstand outdoor conditions.

They used a paint brand called Golden Artist Colors, which has specific instructions for outdoor work.

“We did the mural right,” Wilson said. “We did it with very good quality paint and sealed it right.”

Because the store followed guidelines, Wilson said the mural should remain intact for 25 to 30 years.

“Sometimes murals the city has done haven’t been done with the right kind of paint and they peel,” Wilson said. “There are murals that are peeling, and the boards are warping because they didn’t do it the right way. We did it the correct way that you’re supposed to do it. It’s an archival mural and will be a part of the community for years to come.”

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