Oil Paintings by Vicki Ingham
Mural at Weiting Theater, Toledo, Iowa
2011
acrylic
4x5 feet
This was a very exciting project that came my way in the fall of 2011, thanks to Shiffler Associates in Des Moines. Weiting Theater in Toledo, Iowa, was built in 1912 by the widow of a prominent banker and businessman as a memorial to her husband. The couple had moved to Iowa from New York state and had been very active in the civic and business life of the town. After his death, she had 3 theaters built in his memory. The one in Toledo has been in nearly continuous use and in its heyday featured top touring vaudeville shows and opera stars. It converted to a movie theater as film replaced vaudeville, but was closed for a time when it could no longer compete with the big metroplexes. Then a group of volunteers committed to restoring the theater to its former glory. They didn't know for sure what the original murals had been so they approved my proposals for two Iowa scenes, one the Des Moines River in late afternoon and one a boggy landscape at dusk. Painting them was a terrific experience, and I'm very pleased to have been a part of bringing this architectural and community gem back into beautiful shape. The theater is open on weekends and shows first-run films at amazingly low prices. Many thanks to D. Bryan Shiffler for the beautiful photos of the completed interior.
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