Artist begins work on King Street mural

Alice Mizrachi, of New York City, shows off her plan for the mural at The Emporium on King Street. She said she's painting because art should be available to everyone, not just those who go to art museums. Jake Zuckerman/Daily
Alice Mizrachi, of New York City, has been painting a mural of a young family on the exterior wall of The Emporium on King Street. Mizrachi has completed 40 percent of the artwork and plans to finish it today. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – It only took New York artist Alice Mizrachi a few days in town to grasp the importance of community in Strasburg. Now she’s working on reflecting that feeling in a mural on King Street.

“It feels like there’s a strong urge to build a community here that’s family centric,” said Mizrachi, of Queens, New York. “So I thought, ‘How about I paint an image of a young family come together somewhere new like mine did.'”

Before coming to America, Mizrachi’s parents lived in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Mizrachi was contracted by the Staufferstadt Artist Residency, a Strasburg nonprofit project, to paint the mural on the western-facing wall of The Emporium.

After attuning herself to Strasburg’s sense of community, Mizrachi said she put together a sketch of a young family that she would turn into a roughly 30-by-20 painting.

The mural is the first of three that the Staufferstadt Artist Residency is working on with different artists. One will go up on the exterior wall of Mike Keffer’s Integrity Home Mortgage Corporation, and another on the rear-facing wall of The Northern Virginia Daily’s office building.

Daniel Lefkowitz, of Strasburg, does most of the legwork for the organization, including getting permission from the town, securing available walls from shop owners to use, and fundraising the projects.

He said the point of the murals is to beautify the town.

“We’re not making any money from it, and we’re not trying to,” Lefkowitz said. “It’s about adding culture and beauty to buildings in the town.”

As Mizrachi painted, various community members shuffled in and out to watch her progress, including Tiffany Hockman, who works at Tippy’s Bakery. She said she’s excited to see the mural once it’s finished.

“It’s certainly going to be better to look at than a concrete wall,” she said.

The mural still has a ways to go. Mizrachi said she’s put in about four hours of work already (as of 2 p.m. Thursday) and has between 10 and 15 left. As she painted, Kool & the Gang blasted from her car speakers and community members fettered in and out.

This interaction, she said, is one of the main reasons she paints murals.

“I like to make art available for everyone, not just people who go to art museums,” Mizrachi said.

She will be painting until Sunday when the mural is complete. She encouraged community members to stop by and watch the work progress.

For more information on the Staufferstadt Artist Residency, visit http://www.staufferstadt.org/.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com

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