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Downtown reels in new wall mural
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There's no need to call the cops.
The bearded guy spray painting graffiti on the back of Collins River BBQ on Main Street was doing so by request.
Asheville, N.C., artist Buddy McMann made the trip to McMinnville to bait the downtown area with a new wall mural. The picture is of a giant musky showing its teeth as it leaves the water. A fishing boat is a smaller element of the painting.
The sign proclaims Warren County as "Home of Southern Musky" as the Collins River is gaining a reputation as one of the best musky rivers in the South.
"There's sort of a negative connotation to calling this graffiti art but that's what it is," said McMann, a house painter by trade. He used only spray paint in completing the project.
"There's something about spray paint I just love," said McMann. "It gives it a certain look, a certain pop you can't get with brushes. There's no way to duplicate it. It has a certain flavor and style."
McMann painted the sign on Friday on Saturday to coincide with the national musky fishing tournament in town. The tournament was organized by Todd Gregory of Towee Boats, which operates its manufacturing facility on Gilispie Road.
Gregory said the tournament featured 80 fishermen, with some coming from as far away as Vermont and Washington state.
McMann is a fly fisherman himself, although he was too busy painting the sign to enter the tournament. He started on Friday by priming over the existing wall painting which advertised a former business at that location, Capalano's.
After that, McMann had to wait till nightfall to get to work. That's because he uses a projector to put a draft of his image onto the wall.
"It takes a lot longer if you have to sketch it all out by hand," said McMann. "That's why most people use a projector nowadays, but you have to wait till it gets dark enough."
He said he talked with Collins River BBQ owners Joe and Chris O'Neal to get a rough idea of what they were expecting from the mural design. After hearing their ideas, the design was his original work.
"This is actually one of the most complex paintings I've done," said McMann. "There are a lot of elements to it, a lot of layers to achieve."
As far as being long-lasting, McMann said the spray paint will hold up well over time. He said he buys his spray paint from a European company that emphasizes durability.
Living in Asheville, McMann said he does most of his work in that area. He said it's been several years since he's traveled so far for a project.
"Asheville is a hotbed for art but the community is changing," said McMann. "You have a lot of rich people who want to live in an art community, but then they don't necessarily like the art-related stuff that goes along with that. We'll have to see how the politics holds up."
The sign was complete Saturday and is visible to motorists driving down Morford Street near the post office.