Downtown Grand Forks got a new Instagram-worthy photo spot over the weekend, with Greta Silewski’s #GFwingwall mural adorning the south wall of the Lyon’s Auto Supply building at 210 N. 4th St.
Silewski, a communications specialist who works for the city, has always had an interest in art, and after applying for a micro grant at last year’s the Longest Table event, got the opportunity to design a mural on a downtown building.
The picture features a set of hawk wings in UND colors, with a space to stand between the wings for portraits.
“My idea for the grant was, one thing I noticed in our city in particular, is that we don’t have a lot of instagrammable moments, so that was how I wrote the grant,” Silewski said. “Picking a spot was key to finding a good spot where people would see it, want to take their picture, and that was kind of a blank canvas, right there.”
The grant was provided by Grand Forks last year on a reimbursement basis: People could apply for the grants through the Longest Table Micro Grant and, if approved, carry out their projects to then be reimbursed by the city.
City rules about murals were revised last year to make the process easier for artists to get their work on the sides of buildings. The building owner must consent and artists need to provide to the city a rough idea of what they wish to do, so as to avoid commercial art or anything offensive.
“It’s a pretty simple process .... Grand Forks has streamlined that process to make it easier for people to install murals around the city,” said Silewski, who got permission from building owners Jonathan Miskavige and Ryan Carlson, co-founders of Northridge Construction.
Silewski designed and drew the picture on her computer, printed it on vinyl and heat pressed it to the wall by Custom Stripes.
“As far as art, I guess I’ve always kind of had a passion for it,” she said. “Graphic design started for me probably in high school. Grand Forks gives a lot of students opportunities for career exploration. In high school, they have graphic design as one of the options, and I took all of those classes and I loved it from the beginning.”
In addition to art, the mural also shows her support and pride of being in a college town, she said of the hawkwing motif.
“That’s another thing -- just wanting to try to always create more of that culture of UND within downtown, and ... be proud of that in our community,” Silewski said.
Silewski's painting is part of multiple collaborations painted onto the wall at Lyon’s Auto Supply building.