The Hilliard Public Arts Commission wants to add more than the color blue around the city, especially in the Old Hilliard district.

To that end, the commission is seeking someone to paint a mural on a 14-by-26-foot gray wall that supports the second-floor balcony at Otie's Tavern and Grill, 5344 Center St.

The commission issued a call to artists March 1.

However, only one artist applied by the June 1 deadline, causing the commission to decide June 3 to extend the deadline to July 31, commission chairwoman Kelley Daniel said.

"We are interested in seeing more than one idea," she said.

In addition to extending the deadline to July 31, the commission also will reach out to artists, Daniel said.

Interested applicants may apply for consideration on the city's website,

The proposed mural adjacent to the future Center Street Market would benefit the Old Hilliard district and the city of Hilliard in several ways, said Tim Kauffman, executive director of Destination Hilliard.

"Public art enhances a community's cultural, social and economic value," he said. "There are no tickets or need to dress up; you can view it alone or as part of a group. It's open and allows for personal interpretation for everyone touched by it, residents and visitors alike."

If the mural is approved by the commission and Hilliard City Council, it would become the second piece of public art approved under a public-arts policy City Council approved in October 2018.

The first is Daniel's own work: a sunflower mural on the top of a barn at the 5426 Madison St. residence she shares with her husband, Ed Daniel.

Daniel will uncover the sunflower mural during a public unveiling from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8.

"I hope it will inspire others and begin a larger movement toward more public art," Daniel said.

She said she believes some people might remain apprehensive about public art after her experience with the sunflower mural nearly a decade ago.

Her sunflower mural has been boarded up since 2010, when the city's board of zoning appeals ordered it be removed because its multitude of colors were in violation of city codes that limit the number of exterior colors in the Old Hilliard district, Daniel said.

But the public-arts policy City Council approved last October allows for the display of Daniel's sunflower mural as artwork.

The commission recommended approval of the Daniel's sunflower mural and it was approved in April by City Council, which has final oversight of the commission's recommendation.

The sunflower is the only piece of artwork the seven-member commission has considered, Daniel said. Other members are Genenia Bellner, Anna McCoy, Becky Rehbeck, Mari-jean Siehl, Bill Uttley and City Council representative Nathan Painter.

The search for a mural artist for the wall at Otie's, selected because it will face the Center Street Market scheduled to open this fall at Center and Wayne streets, is only the commission's first effort, Daniel said.

"We have plans for more next year," she said.

Otie's owner Jim Velio said he is pleased to cooperate with the commission for the placement of a mural.