The story of brewing beer can now be found on, appropriately enough, the west wall of Pend Oreille Brewing Company at 220 Cedar. The historic building has been home to the brewpub for over two years now. For much of that time, local artist Diana Schuppel had eyed the blank wall, yearning to do a mural there.
One of Pend Oreille Brewing partners, Ken Jackson, took her up on the idea, and she and partner Leif Olson launched into the project in May. It took about a month to finish the first two scenes depicting the brewing process and delivery both historic in nature to match the historic building.
Jackson says he was "ecstatic" about the project's outcome. "I wanted to tell a story about brewing and spiff up the building," he says. To his surprise, he's received letters of appreciation from visitors.
Olson, who has a dozen murals to his credit, says, "This is one of the cooler ones."
The mural was more of a "social" project because it was all done on site, rather than on panels inside a studio, according to Olson and Schuppel. An audience gathered each evening as the painters went to work, adding input along the way.
The third scene, a landscape view of a hops field, will be overlapped by the real hops vines that grow at the southwest corner of the building. That panel was in the works as Sandpoint Magazine went to press.
"It will be really colorful," Schuppel says.
The artists hope that, with all the positive feedback they've received on the Pend Oreille Brewing Company's mural, it will lead to more mural projects. "Sandpoint has a lot of buildings that would be really inspirational," Schuppel says.
However, one of them just kitty corner from the brewpub is already taken. On the south wall of Belwood's Furniture is a mural Schuppel and Barry Donaldson painted in 1996 entitled "Timeless Flight."
Billie Jean Plaster