It was four years in the making.
The wall of the underpass on Keswick Avenue, between Mount Carmel and Paxson avenues, is getting a new mural. It’s not your typical “let’s-live-in-harmony, everything’s-super,” mural, but it does have some meaning.
The green mural is a joint venture between Abington and Cheltenham townships; depicted are two trees with their branches intertwined.
Artist Kim Mehler came up with the design, and the Abington Environmental Advisory Council, along with members of the community, selected it out of about ten concepts at a meeting in March. Mehler’s work can be seen throughout the area, including the Elkins Park and McKinley Elementary School libraries.
“Actually, it was pretty unanimous,” EAC Chairwoman and volunteer Jennifer Sherwood said. “Everyone liked this one the best because it represented, and connected the two communities.”
Sherwood said the residents have been interested in painting a mural at the location for years, and adds that there is a flag mural on the other side of the street, which was done as part of an Eagle Scout project years ago.
It’s fitting that the mural is to be placed on the border of the two municipalities.
The work kicks off Saturday morning, as volunteers will help revamp a nearby garden. Sherwood said because the weather will likely be lousy, the painting prep will have to be pushed back.
The actual painting will take place on two consecutive weekends, June 2 and 9.
Sherwood is looking for volunteers to help on all three weekends.
People will be meeting Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. until noon.
“We’re looking for anyone interested in helping paint the artwork,” Sherwood said. “Kim is going to be directing people. And if there are any artists out there, that’s great. They can help supervise. We have four artists already."
The EAC is also looking for two other things: money, and a slogan for the mural.
Cheltenham applied for the grant that will cover the cost of artist Kim Mehler, but Sherwood said the EAC needs to raise about $750 to help cover the costs of materials.
As for the slogan, Sherwood said there are about 20 of them floating around, and she’s taking suggestions. The winning slogan will be voted on later in the year and it will be painted on the mural.
“The theme is ‘connecting communities’” Sherwood said, “and it’s supposed to show that Abington and Cheltenham are connected — and they have been, the idea’s not new.”
Donations for the mural may be sent to the Abington Township Building, 1176 Old York Road, Abington.