LUBBOCK, TX.- The Windmill Museum
at the American Wind Power Center has released a completion date of mid-October 2009 for its Windmill Mural art work (realism, American, acrylic on aluminum). Painting on the mural was started in November 2007 by the commissioned artist, LaGina Fairbetter. Miss. Fairbetter is a muralist and an instructor in the Department of Architecture at Texas Tech University. Her Windmill Mural depicts the utilization of wind power in America from the 1700s when Dutch style windmills were built along the East Coast to the present with wind turbines being erected across the United States.
This large art work covers two interior walls of the Museum. These walls were specially prepared to accommodate the slight movement of the building in high winds. 290 precision cut 4-foot by 5-foot aluminum panels were fastened to the original corrugated steel walls, then primed giving a flat surface for painting. The artist worked with the Museums Director, Coy Harris, to develop a comprehensive windmill story reflecting the relations of humans, the environment and technology in using the wind to help do work. The variety of windmills painted in the mural were selected from the museums large collection of historic windmills.
Miss Fairbetters painting is comprised of five merged rural, urban and landscape scenes. Her panorama changes with time as the viewer sees the work from right to left. Both airbrush and traditional bush work were used to apply the acrylics.
The first water pumping windmills were built in America in the 1850s. The first of these is shown next to a highly detailed half-dugout, typical of the dwellings many settlers built in the Plains States. An 1890s western town has its wood framed buildings each supplied with a working windmill. Many of the busy town folk were
modeled by the museums staff and visitors. The mural transitions into a 1940s cotton farm emerging from a Plains thunder storm with a delightful farming couple posing alongside their stucco home. The painting continues along the wall turning a 90-degree corner as a mesquite bordered ranch scene is built on the northern wall. The painting terminates in the present day with large wind turbines crowning the background hills.
The murals large size, over 5500 sq. ft. requires both scissor and crane lifts to reach the 34 foot height. Five entry and service doors are blended in the painting with artistic ingenuity and skill.
An invitation only event dedicating the Mural is planned for October 16th with a general public opening on October 17th.