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Photo by Kathryn Ross

After this mural began to take shape in Wellsville, the village planning board decided to look into possible mural regulations.


WELLSVILLE — During its first meeting in 2023, the village board looked to legislate murals and sponsor a photography contest.

As the meeting progressed Monday night, there was little to take action on, as Mayor Randy Shayler, department heads and three trustees had nothing to bring up or report. That is until they got to Trustee Mike Roeske, who is liaison with the village planning board.

“Murals seem to be catching on,” Roeske told the board, “so the planning board wants to regulate them before we end up with something that we don’t want.”

He explained that the planning board has obtained a copy of the village of Cuba’s law concerning murals. There are several murals decorating Cuba’s buildings and community spaces. “They want to follow Cuba’s regulations,” he said.

Currently in Wellsville there is one mural decorating the north, outside wall of the Wellsville Brewery on Main Street. Farther north a ceramic tile artwork decorates the south exterior wall of the Community Arts Center, and even farther north, the Pearl Street side of the former community center also features ceramic tile artwork. Roeske said both the tile artworks are considered murals.

The ceramic artworks are older. Work on the first one, located on the former community center was approved by the town board after the plan was brought to the board at the time of the sesquicentennial to have children create an artwork that would feature points of interest throughout Wellsville’s history. The second, on the arts center was approved by the building’s owner and created by students in art classes there. This past Fall the mural/sign on the side of the brewery was completed.

While the village board would have the final say on the regulation, any disputed artwork would also be eligible for consideration by the zoning board of appeals.

The planning board’s mural regulation could supplement the village’s sign regulation. Shayler asked code enforcement officer Rich Wenslow to provide the board with the regulations for signage within the village.

A motion was passed to allow the zoning board to look into regulations regarding murals. If the new regulation takes the form of a law, it will require a public hearing. Should it be an amendment to the existing signage regulation, it will only require village board approval. The matter will be taken up at a future meeting of the board at such time as it is presented by the zoning board.

Still in the realm of art, the village is looking for photos of the village to feature on the village website. Treasurer Melissa Mullen who is heading up the project presented an application form to the board for the photo contest entitled “We Want Your Photos.” It states, “The pictures should incorporate the beauty and hometown feel while integrating local downtown businesses, parks, and other local highlights.”

She indicated that the photos should be current. Several historic photos of downtown Wellsville already adorn the boardroom walls.

Multiple pictures can be submitted to the Village of Wellsville, 23 N. Main St., Wellsville, N.Y., 14895, before Feb. 28 to be considered. The form also includes information about entered photos such as the approximate date and location where the photo was taken. All photos must be taken by the individual named on the form. Winning photos will be determined by the board. Winners will be announced at the March 13 village board meeting

At this point, unless someone steps forward, Mullen said there are no prizes to be awarded other than bragging rights for the artists whose photos end up on the website.

For more information or to find the entry form go to the village website at or forms may be picked up at the village office.