More art panels to be installed at park

ArtWalla's project to put photos in the Odd Fellows facade in the park is taking a big step forward.

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WALLA WALLA -- A collection of 36 photos will be added to the art display at Heritage Square Park on Main Street this fall to fill in six more panels on the Odd Fellows Temple wall.

On Wednesday, City Council unanimously approved adding a series of photos that will follow the projects theme of displaying images of people who lived in the region from 1850 to 1950.

The 36 photos currently being made into enameled porcelain enlargements include people of German, Japanese, Ukrainian, Swedish, French and other ancestries. Part of the unveiling ceremony this fall will include talks from families members related to the photo subjects.

"We invite them to come and speak about the images and their family. And the people who come are so happy to share their stories," said Jeanne McMenemy, and artist and coordinator with ArtWalla.

Of the 20 cultural groups that ArtWalla has identified as living in the region during the time period, McMenemy said the Mexican-American community has been the hardest to find pictures of.

"There were families here then, but we are having trouble finding photos or artifacts of people who were here then because they didn't keep them," McMenemy said.

The goal of the project, commissioned in 2006, was to fill 20 of 22 panels on the Odd Fellows Temple wall that had exposed cinder block. The total cost of the project was estimated at $270,000. ArtWalla has raised $250,000 for the project, with a $180,000 donation from the Donald and Virginia Sherwood Trust.

In addition to needing another $20,000, McMenemy said ArtWalla would like to raise additional funds to fill in the two top arched panels, thus completing the project.

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