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Colorful mural memorializes Kalk

Artist Michael Cimino paints the lotus flower and the center mural memorializing Eden “Bliss” Kalk.

NEW ULM — The alleyways of downtown Minnesota Street are getting very colorful. A special art mural memorializing the late Eden “Bliss” Kalk was commissioned for the north-facing wall the Wellness Collective at 15 S. Minnesota St.

Bliss Kalk worked at the Wellness Collective as a massage therapist until her death last December. Her friends decided to commemorate her life with a mural. A special fundraising concert was held behind The Wellness Collective Friday evening. The concert featured the music of Andrea Lyn & Justin and DD & Rosco. In collaboration with the event, the American Legion served a German-style meal in the alley.

The event was a way to cover the cost of the mural, but also see the creation process. Artist Michael Cimino worked on the mural throughout the evening.

Cimino said he began working on the mural July 8 and anticipates another three weeks before the project is finished.

Cimino is originally from New Ulm and sees the mural as a major responsibility.

“You expect a mural like this to be around for 20 years,” he said. “You want it to look great.”

The color and design of the mural were previously approved by the Heritage Preservation Commission. Cimino said the idea was to incorporate Eastern healing designs to represent Bliss but also match the New Ulm spirit.

When completed, the mural will feature lotus flowers in the center, flanked by two peacocks.

Lori Mathiowetz said the peacocks were to symbolize New Ulm but also to remember Bliss, who raised peacocks. People will be able to stand in front of the peacocks, with the impression of feathers, similar to the popular angel wing murals.

Bliss was also an avid morel mushroom hunter. The mural will contain several hidden morels. The actual number of morels in the mural will remain a secret to keep people guessing and to keep them looking.

This is the first mural of its kind in New Ulm, but Mathiowetz is considering options for a future mural. One idea includes honoring the founding and influential women of New Ulm.

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