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B’ville Girl Scout ready to refurbish village mural

Baldwinsville teen Emily Ekross, 17, talks about the mural painted on a building at the four corners in the village. Ekross is planning to refurbish the painting to achieve the highest honor for Girl Scouts — the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Baldwinsville teen Emily Ekross, 17, talks about the mural painted on a building at the four corners in the village. Ekross is planning to refurbish the painting to achieve the highest honor for Girl Scouts — the Girl Scout Gold Award.

— Every day hundreds of people pass through the four corners in downtown Baldwinsville.

How many of those people truly notice their surroundings?

One C. W. Baker High School junior has.

Emily Ekross, 17, is diligently working to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award project — refurbishing the mural on the southwest corner of Oswego and Genesee streets, which contains vignettes of Baldwinsville and Erie Canal history.

“It’s there and it’s not very attractive,” Emily said of the mural, whose paint is cracked and peeling, parts of which were defaced by graffiti.

While it is a historical tribute, the mural holds a lot of its own history.

Painted by the Baldwinsville Art Guild in celebration for the bicentennial, it has once before been restored. That restoration, by Willie Barnes, was completed as part of his Eagle Scout project in the 1980s.

Around the same time, Emily’s mother and Girl Scout Ambassador Troop 563 leader Michelle Ekross took an interest in the mural and hoped to restore the painting as part of her Gold Award, but Barnes got to it before she did.

“There’s always been something there,” Michelle said.

Now, following in the footsteps of those before her, Emily is hoping to give the village’s painting a new face.

To get started, she consulted with the village board, Baldwinsville historians, community members and art teachers. Having approval from the building owner, John Galimi, and a blessing from the village architectural review board, Emily set out to refurbish the mural depicting days gone by.

She said the board has also given her the go-ahead to use more color and while she doesn’t want to do anything too outlandish, she would like to have some blues and greens, among other hues.

Emily is researching ways to treat the wall of the building in an effort to prepare it for a new mural. While she could go the same route as has been taken in the past and ask the fire department to powerwash the paint off or use some form of paint stripper, no decisions have been made.

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