Welcome to Berham! Society lays the tiles for a futuristic park mural – Perham Focus

Berham – As a tourist town, people come and go from Berham a lot and people like local Rebecca Omland want to make sure they feel welcome. A while ago, when she was working with the Berham-area Chamber of Commerce, Umland came across a grant from the West Central Initiative, which offered up to $500 to communities that wanted to be more welcoming to newcomers.

“I ended up speaking with (room CEO) Nick Murdock and (city manager) Jonathan Smith, and just talking to them, we came up with making this welcoming mural of Berham,” Umland said.

However, this will not be just a typical mural. The mural will be placed on the wall of MN Tru North, facing NP Park, and will be painted by a local artist to be identified later. Hexagon tiles – chosen because of the honeycomb shape of the Perham Yellowjackets – will flow across the board. These tiles, provided by Interiors by Winkels, will be painted by community members and visitors alike to showcase what Perham is all about.

So, with this idea in mind, Umland applied for a West Central Initiative grant and received $500 to get this project on its feet. It hosted a Tile Painting event on the afternoon of Saturday, September 17th, where adults and kids alike were able to showcase their creativity and show off their painting skills.

Group of people smiling and laughing with each other when the tile board kicks off.
Elizabeth Firkant / Berham Focus

Umland hopes to attract people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the tile board, so everyone knows they are welcome in the Perham community.

“The donor, the West Central Initiative, is about the different aspects or different types of people who live in our communities,” she explained. “We want to make sure (the mural) is very inclusive and welcoming to all kinds of people. The goal is to have a diverse group of people.”

Umland is currently working on reaching out to various community organizations and spreading the word so that everyone who is willing to put their creativity into the mural can. While the next tile-painting event has yet to be scheduled, Umland hopes to be able to set up some during the Oktoberfest when the streets are bustling with people looking for fun.

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A set of tiles fully painted, ready to become part of your future welcoming mural.
Elizabeth Firkant / Berham Focus

Given the number of tiles and the amount of work that needs to be done on the wall before painting — such as flattening it — Umland said they don’t have a set timeline for completing the project yet. As of now, the goal is for the mural to be completed by mid-summer 2023, but this should be done by the end of summer 2023 at the latest.

For future tile coating events, see the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce events calendar, which can be found at perham.com. If you are interested in making a donation to this project, reach out to Chamber CEO Nick Murdock at [email protected] or 218-346-7710.

“Everyone who comes in from the tourists (to Berham) is touting how welcoming and welcoming the people are here,” Omland said. “I’ve been told that everyone is very nice, and I can tell directly that is true… This aspect is something to be proud of – knowing that people who just come are generally welcome.”

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