Winslow Artist Dixon Gives Centennial Park Colorful Facelift

Winslow painter Bill Dixon begins the new Centennial Park mural with the sketching stage. He expects to complete the mural within six weeks.

The improvements include a new mural covering the south wall of the Hackler Chiropractic Building, which serves as the park’s north border.

The mural is being painted by Winslow artist Bill Dixon. Dixon began the eight-foot-high and 48-foot-long painting on Thursday, July 19, 2001 and plans to finish in about four to six weeks.

The Centennial Park, so named because of its establishment from Land and Water Conservation funds during a centennial year, will also have the addition of two lamp posts, like those in the Standin’ on the Corner Park, to add to the improvements. The process of obtaining old railroad memorabilia, such as a handcar, switches and signals, for the park is already in the works.

Dixon has a two month contract with the Standin’ On A Corner Foundation, but said he doesn’t think it will take that long to complete.

Dixon believes the job will consist of six or seven hour days with a break when the heat gets unbearable. “It [the heat] isn’t good for me or the paints,” he added.

The finished mural will consist of three locomotives from different time periods in the railroad’s history, a Santa Fe Steam Engine, an “El Capitan” engine, and a current BNSF working class engine.

The process of making the bare wall beautiful consists of three stages. The first stage is the sketching stage where the main lines of the painting are drawn on the wall. During the second stage, the base colors are put down and the last stage is where the detailing begins. The last stage consists of three or four stages of its own.

While doing the base color stage of the work, Dixon doesn’t use little paintbrushes, he uses house-painting rollers. When the detailing stage begins, he then switches to artist brushes.

Dixon has been painting professionally for 26 years. He painted most of the signs in Winslow and also created oil paintings on display in two galleries in Arizona and attends art shows across the Southwest.

Dr. Greg Hackler, Standin’ on the Corner Foundation member, hopes the mural and the other additions to the park help businessmen and residents alike take pride in their community.

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