BY THE NUMBERS: $25,000 grant will fund downtown Greenfield mural, and community members will have the chance to help paint it


GREENFIELD — Community members will get the chance to help create a mural in downtown Greenfield next spring.

The Hancock County Community Foundation recently awarded a $25,000 Ignite grant to Greenfield Main Street to create the mural, which will go on the east side of the Ford’s Floor Covering shop at 209 W. Main St.

The wall faces the auxiliary parking lot for Bradley United Methodist Church — on the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and Main Streets.

“The community mural process will allow the entire community to have a hand in creating a piece of artwork,” said Katie Ottinger, the foundation’s community investment and grants officer.

The community will help select the design and have the chance to paint sections of the mural through a paint-by-numbers process, she said.

Local artist and Greenfield-Central High School art teacher Lisa Sears will provide multiple design options and community members will vote on their favorite design via a social media poll. Once a design is chosen, Sears will project the selected design on the side of the building and help community members paint it in, section by section.

“I love that anyone can be a part of making this space beautiful,” said Sears, who has done a number of murals throughout the greater Indianapolis area, both public and private.

In 2018 she was a winner in the Welcome Race Fans competition hosted by the Indy Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which won her the opportunity to create a giant, colorful mural at the Artsgarden overseeing Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis.

“The mural I’m currently working on is a color-by-number one I made for my future nephew’s bedroom,” she said. “My sister-in-law wanted to help with it, so I simplified the design so she can paint in areas when I’m not there.”

The high school art teacher can’t wait to apply the same concept to the proposed downtown Greenfield mural, which is scheduled to be created over her spring break March 13-24, 2023.

During the second week of the process, individuals and families will have the chance to sign up for 30-minute time slots to paint the mural. Sears will finish up by filling in the high spots, cleaning up the edges and adding details.

Ottinger said the mural project is a true community effort. The Greenfield Sherwin-Williams store has agreed to provide paint at wholesale cost, she said, and the Greenfield Parks Department has offered to pressure-wash the wall prior to starting the mural.

According to recent community foundation press release, the foundation’s Ignite grants support placemaking efforts driven by Hancock County municipalities and civic organizations. Grants support community-driven projects and quick-win transformations “that foster connection to place, enhance community vibrancy, advance physical and social outcomes, and promote a creative identity,”