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Auction of artwork will fund creation of downtown mural

Erwin Record Photo by Richard Rourk • Jan Bowden will auction this stained glass depicion of the Clinchfield Depot to help finance the painting of a public mural.

By Richard Rourk

Union Street Gallery is giving the public an opportunity to grab a piece of Erwin’s history during a benefit auction. At the same time, proceeds from the auction will help fund a proposed public mural.

Union Street Gallery owner Jan Bowden has created a glass work of art that features the historic Clinchfield Depot. 

“I see this building every day from my studio,” Bowden said. “It is so iconic. Today it’s our beloved library and it deserved to be memorialized.”

Bowden created a 24-inch by 8-inch replica of the Unicoi County Public Library by sketching individual pieces of the landmark building and forming colored glass for each piece.

The art piece is going to be auctioned off over a month period and all the proceeds will go to a larger community art project. 

“I’m auctioning this piece off and all the funds from the auction will go towards supplies to create a mural,” Bowden said. 

“The proceeds will help us finance a mural on the Nolichucky side of our building,” Bowden added. “This mural will be our gift to Erwin. Erwin has been so giving and welcoming to us.”

Bowden already has an idea of what the mural will depict. 

“A mural depicting our surrounding mountains would be a perfect thank you that everyone driving by could enjoy,” she said. “It will be a great place to stop and take a photo next to. We have an artist from North Carolina that will donate her talent to paint this mural. She’s featured at a gallery in Knoxville and does great work.”

The auction will begin July 1 and end July 31. Bidding will start at $400 and increase by increments of $25.

A bid sheet will be located at the Union Street Gallery during normal business hours. Bidders can also message Union Street Gallery via Facebook and Instagram or by email or phone to place bids as well. 

“I will keep the highest bid posted daily,” Bowden said.

The gallery is located at 100 Union Street in downtown Erwin.