Mural calls attention to Dublin's Historic District businesses

SARAH SOLE
ssole@thisweeknews.com
Artist Polly Sellers (left), Sharon Adamek (center) with the Historic Dublin Business Assocation and Megan James, owner of MJ2 Marketing, stand with Sellers' mural that is hanging in the park at Bridge and High streets in Dublin's Historic District.

One day in early April, Megan James was picking up a carryout food order for her family at the Dublin Village Tavern.

It was about 5 p.m., and there wasn't a car in sight. She stood in the middle of High Street and took a selfie.

"It was just eerie," the Dublin resident said.

With businesses forced to close amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, High Street in Dublin's Historic District wasn't getting much foot traffic, James said.

James, president and digital strategist of MJ2 Marketing, 90 S. High St. in the Historic District, said she doesn't fear for her brand during the pandemic because the work is done mostly online and working remotely is not difficult for her.

It was the other businesses in the district she worried about that day, a fear that would serve as inspiration for the creation of a mural that now serves to shine a light on businesses that call the Historic District home.

James worked with the Historic Dublin Business Association, the city of Dublin and artist Polly Sellers to create a mural installed May 7 on a fountain on the northwest corner of Bridge and High Street.

Sellers' work features illustrations of symbols for different businesses in the Historic District.

It was a chance occasion to see Sellers' recent work that inspired James to have her create the mural.

James said her daughter, Mackenzie, showed her a print she purchased from Sellers.

She had seen it on Sellers' Instagram page. Mackenzie James became acquainted with Sellers when the two attended St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic School.

The artwork was a rendition of iconic places to visit in downtown Columbus, including COSI and the Scioto Mile.

It was exactly the sort of thing she had been thinking about for the Dublin mural, James said.

Sellers, a Grandview Heights resident, said she created the Columbus poster from a desire to recall fun activities she liked to do throughout Columbus.

"I was just feeling kind of down," she said.

Sellers grew up in Dublin. She said the opportunity to work on the mural project with James was more meaningful because of memories she had of spending weekends in downtown Dublin with her friends.

"It was definitely very, very special for me," she said.

The mural was funded via MJ2 Marketing, James said, and features a variety of symbols for area businesses.

For example, there is a coffee cup for Winans Chocolates + Coffees, a beer mug for the Dublin Village Tavern, a scale for lawyers, a tooth for dentists and a loaf of bread for La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro.

"Polly did a phenomenal job in a very short period of time," James said.

The mural depicts the human side of Dublin's Historic District -- the humans behind the businesses, said Rick Gerber, president of the Historic Dublin Business Association.

"With this virus going on, I think we're all finding a new sense of humanity," he said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah