AUBURN — The driver’s view from a 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster will greet visitors to downtown Auburn in a giant mural now taking shape.
The artwork is the first of at least three murals to be created by artists Amy Buchs and Dave Schlemmer, sponsored by the Auburn Main Street organization.
DeKalb High School New Tech students suggested the themes for the murals in a process that involved presenting their ideas to community leaders.
Auburn Main Street recruited Buchs and Schlemmer, who last year painted two giant murals on the walls of DeKalb High’s main gymnasium.
The artists carefully researched their first project with help of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
“We want it to look like artwork, so there’s a lot of things going on with shadows and reflections and colors, but we still want it to be accurate so that the integrity of the Auburn car instrument panel, or dash, is correct,” Buchs said.
The artists took a ride in Auburn resident Kari Randinelli’s classic Auburn auto to determine the proper readings for the instrument gauges on a running car.
Buchs is “the real artist,” Schlemmer said. A retired art teacher, she created all the shades in the mural by mixing seven different “retro” paint colors.
“He’s the precision guy,” Buchs responds, crediting the attention to detail by Schlemmer, who has retired after teaching drafting in a classroom next to Buchs’ art room.
The team started painting June 7 on a north-facing wall at 5th and Main streets and expect to finish soon.
Then, they will tackle their next two projects.
“We’re planning on three murals right now. We are working on a fourth, and we’re doing this through a crowdfunding platform,” said Nora Schwartz of Auburn Main Street.
One of the next two murals will be a “Home of the Classics” logo on a wall one block south of the first mural, on the southeast corner of 6th and Main streets.
On the northwest corner of that intersection, Buchs and Schlemmer will paint an “I spy” interactive mural with hidden objects to discover.
The fourth mural, described as a more extensive project on a site yet to be disclosed, will not be painted this year, Schwartz said.
“We have the most complicated things under wrap now,” Buchs said about the steering wheel mural.
Approximately 28 feet wide, the steering wheel is a much smaller project than last summer’s 90-foot gymnasium artwork.
“This other stuff isn’t as intimidating, since we did that,” Buchs said.