A large crowd packed the upper floors of the Clayton Center earlier this month to watch town officials formally unveil Clayton's first public art project, a mural of town scenes called "Clayton Patchwork."
Mayor Jody McLeod and an array of town officials also honored local artist Dorothy Demboski, who put the last few dabs of paint on the third-floor wall a few weeks ago, giving the Center a permanent 10-foot by 10-foot mural featuring icons from around town.
"I'm as proud of this as I can be, our first public art," the Mayor told the crowd. "I'm happy that so many of you have come out to see it. And I want to thank Dorothy for the great work she did. This is something that the people of Clayton will enjoy for many, many years to come."
Demboski, an artist for more than 40 years, began working on the mural back in the summer, chatting with visitors who stopped to watch her work and becoming something of a fixture at Town Hall in the process. She said she's going to miss all the friends she made while working on the project, especially folks at Town Hall, but she's proud of be part of Clayton's history.
"This is such a hopeful beginning to Clayton's vision as an arts community," she said. "And what an experience! It's just been a good one."
A smaller version of the mural on canvas has been part of two recent exhibitions at the Center.
Town leaders worked with Clayton Visual Arts to raise $10,000 for the project, with the town covering $4,000 of the cost. The idea for a mural got its start when town employees noticed Demboski's painting at an exhibition last year. “That piece struck us,” said Town Manager Steve Biggs.
Demboski has won many awards for her work over the years. She has a BFA Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has also taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Carnegie Mellon.