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Murals on shoe store wall kick off Art in the Alley project

Artists James Joe, Jamie Fairchild working on projects

Farmington Daily Times

The first two murals included in the Art in the Alley project that is designed to enhance the back entrance of downtown businesses are being painted.

Artist James Joe and his crew of Eugene B. Joe, Robert Joe and Vladamier Joe got to work late last week on a mural that will cover the east exterior wall of the Brown's Shoe Fit Co. An adjacent mural on the same wall is being painted by Jamie Fairchild. The wall overlooks the new pocket park that serves as the back entrance for Studio 116 and the Christian Science Reading Room.

James Joe, kneeling on scaffold, and his crew work on a mural on the east wall of Brown's Shoe Fit Co. on Friday as part of the Art in the Alley project in downtown Farmington.

Joe's piece features a depiction of the Shiprock pinnacle and other Southwestern elements, and is located just half a block east of a mural of four Native women that he painted 32 years ago on a building at the northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Allen Street.

More:Delayed downtown mural project expected to begin next month

The mural is the first of several planned for the downtown district. The Art in the Alley project is being done in conjunction with the Complete Streets project, which will lead to the renovation of the Main Street corridor when construction begins in 2019. Access along Main Street for many businesses will be restricted during the work, and downtown boosters hope the Art in the Alley project will encourage customers to continue patronizing the district during that disruption.

Eugene B. Joe paints a Kokopelli figure that is part of a new mural being painted on the east side of the Brown's Shoe Fit Co. in downtown Farmington.

Farmington downtown coordinator Michael Bulloch said 12 artists have submitted proposals to the Art in the Alley committee for inclusion in Art in the Alley, while 11 business owners have offered space for murals. He indicated downtown visitors can expect to see more murals being created soon, with a piece by artist Luke Paul planned for a wall at the Chile Pod restaurant.

"I'm hoping to get at least four or five of them down (this fall) if we can't get more," he said.

Artist James Joe adds a dark outline to part of his new mural on the east side of the Brown's Shoe Fit Co. in downtown Farmington.