Local pizza place gets dash of pizzazz

Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter

Wheat State is getting a facelift, thanks to some PSU art students. And Jack Shelton, owner of Wheat State, couldn’t be happier.
“The mural was roughly 5 years old with fading paint,” Shelton said. “And I feel that a new updated mural would be better.”
Melissa Henderson says that Shelton approached her last May to design and paint a new mural.
“I’d never done a project that big,” said Henderson, senior in art education. “I thought it would be better for a group.”
Henderson says that the process started when she approached the University Art Association at the beginning of last semester.
Henderson says that they had to incorporate Midwest hometown values into the design.

Art students work on a mural on the north side of Wheat State Pizza in Pittsburg. Courtesy photo

Art students work on a mural on the north side of Wheat State Pizza in Pittsburg. Courtesy photo

“We focused on the hometown theme, emphasizing the Midwest,” Henderson said. “And we threw some pizzazz of the PSU influence in while incorporating pizza.”
According to Henderson, the final design was a combination of ideas from Tyler Pinneo, senior in commercial art, and DeAnna Morgan, junior in art education.
“They brought the most complete and comprehensive ideas to our brainstorming meeting,” Henderson said.
Henderson says that the art association got help from Jamie Oliver, instructor in painting, and Kyle McKenzie, lecturer. She says Oliver helped with the color theory, which includes picking the colors that would be needed, what paint could be mixed and what color scheme to use.
Shelton says he is delighted with the design.
“It blew me away when I saw it,” he said. “It’s so much more detailed than the last one and more elaborate.”
Shelton says he supplied the 20 gallons of paint, the brushes and the buckets with help from a small donation from Coca-Cola.
Shelton says he’d like the mural to be completed by spring break.
“Because of the weather,” he said, “it may or may not happen.”
Henderson says they had to special-order paint.
“It is ultraviolet safe, will not fade and will last for several years,” Henderson said. “For the paint to dry properly, the weather must be at least 55 degrees outside.”
The mural was begun in October, but cold weather has limited progress. Henderson says that aside from priming the wall and adding a few colors, they’ve been able to work on it only twice in February.
Henderson says she hopes to gather a group of people who will stay over spring break and finish it.
“I’m glad to have an opportunity to share what I love with the community and the city,” Henderson said.

Leave A Comment