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Local artist paints mural for Coshocton High School

| May 28, 2015

20150524_123544_WebCOSHOCTON – Most people know Mike Stiers as a physical therapist at Muscle Menders on Main Street in Coshocton. But other than therapy, Stiers has another passion in life: Painting.

Stiers’ most recent painting hangs in the Coshocton High School as a tribute to the Class of 1965. It is an acrylic 8.5 feet wide by 6.5 feet tall mural of the Coshocton High School the way it looked to the graduating class of 1965.

“Somebody in the class, while they were preparing for their 50th class reunion, suggested doing a mural,” said Stiers. “I was fortunate enough and flattered that they selected me. We thought it would be fitting to do a mural of the high school the way in looked it 1965.”

One of the challenges when starting the project was finding photographs of the high school from that era. All the photos Stiers had available to him were shots of the school straight on, and after studying various angles of the photographs and paying attention to details such as the angles of the windows and where the heating vents were placed, Stiers was ready to begin preliminary sketching of the mural.

The mural was painted on three-quarter-inch plywood and is bordered with a wooden frame, which Stiers constructed.

“I’m actually a little more proud of the frame than the painting,” he said.

The painting took five months to complete and Stiers would work on it several days a week two to three hours at a time. The mural weighs approximately 200 lbs. and is coated in three coats of clear acrylic seal.

It was during the first coat of the seal that Stiers ran into a huge disappointment as approximately one-third of the painting disintegrated. After recovering from that unexpected frustration, Stiers picked up his paint brush and started on that section again.

“I actually think it turned out better the second time,” he said.

The most challenging part of constructing the mural was rendering the bricks in the painting. Stiers said that theoretically, you can run your fingers over the mural and feel the raised bricks.

Stiers has worked in large-scale murals such as this before. His biggest mural was nine stories up and painted on the shovel of Peabody Coal Company. He remembers having to drive back one-half a mile just to see the scale of the project and used a six-inch house paintbrush for the Native American Chief’s eyelashes.

Stiers is well-known nationally and internationally for his work. His paintings have been exhibited in four countries and 49 states. In addition to murals, Stiers has had his illustrations published in books and has even published his own book entitled, “Therapeutic Medical Massage: The Healing Touch”. His book is available on Amazon.com and in bookstores.

Stiers has been working in therapy for 36 years, but his passion for art has lasted a lifetime.

“If I did therapy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I would get tired of it, but I can say the same thing about art,” he said. “The two together give balance to my life.”

The mural of the Coshocton High School is located in the school about 10 feet past the auditorium on the right. Eventually, the mural will be permanently lit and put into protective casing.

“This painting will be there long after I’m gone,” said Stiers. “That thought is very profound and I’m thrilled to death to see it received so well in the community.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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