UPDATE: 1:14 p.m.: Press release from the Arkley Center:
The Arkley Center for the Performing Arts is receiving TLC! Duane Flatmo’s mural on the back of the Arkley Center is a sight we’ve all come to recognize as intrinsic to Old Town Eureka’s charm. Most days travelers and locals alike are seen posing in front of the regal ballerina and acclaimed conductor. In an effort to protect this gem and Arkley Theatre itself, North Coast Dance, who manages the space is repairing years of water damage by resealing the back wall. Unfortunately, this means Flatmo’s masterpiece will undergo a chrysalis period over the next few months while the building is fortified. Once the rains have subsided, Flatmo is slated to repaint the mural in spring 2020!
Many a passers-by traveling through the downtown Eureka corridor have looked up and gasped in the last few hours, as they witness a work crew scraping away the iconic Duane Flatmo mural on the side of the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts.
The work actually began yesterday afternoon, but it continues this morning at a more furious clip, with four guys and a big crane lift peeling away a patch just right of the ballerina, with more to follow.
But fans of the mural, which we believe includes pretty much everyone, don’t need to panic. As best we can tell — and though it’s been very difficult to get someone on the phone to speak directly about this — this is work that needs to be done to protect the building, and the mural itself will be repainted.
The Arkley Center main line goes permanently to voice mail, but Libby Maynard of the Ink People — an all-around doyenne of the Eureka Arts Scene — tells the Outpost that she managed to get in touch with the theater’s management yesterday evening, and that they gave her the scoop.
The Arkley Center has a structural problem at the moment, as they explained to Maynard and Maynard conveyed to us. That problem is that water seeps through cracks in the mural and is then trapped behind it, leaving one wall of the building permanently a bit more wet than is considered ideal. The plan is to remove the mural, seal up the wall and have Flatmo repaint it. Maynard said that the Arkley Center people told her that Flatmo has already signed on for this.
A very friendly guy with the work crew at the scene this morning confirmed much of this — they’re there to scrape away the paint and seal the wall. He said it was his understanding that the mural’s artist is set to repaint the thing, but he wasn’t privy to the details of that part of the project.
Flatmo could not be reached for comment as he is currently deep in the Nevada desert:
We will update when the drugs wear off and he gets back online. [UPDATE: While Flatmo, who reached out post-Burn, understands LoCO’s humorous framing of the Burning Man scene, he wishes to emphatically stress that he does not do drugs. LoCO concedes.]
Anyway, to sum up: Yes, this incarnation of the Arkley Center mural is going away, but it’s for a good reason and all signs currently indicate that it will rise again.