Recalling History on a Building: Bob Eding Brings Southern Oregon History to Life
A great challenge in art is capturing a time in history, whether it’s an event or an emotion, perfectly on the page, canvas, or brick wall.
Bob Eding has been a pro at depicting a point in time for decades now, recently finishing up a mural on the Rogue River Pharmacy building in Rogue River, entitled “Medicine Show,” making it his sixth mural.
“The mural society in Rogue River is supporting me on that,” he says about this mural. “I try to do one about every year.”
Eding attended design school in Michigan, where he studied illustration design advertising. He spent most of his professional career illustrating buildings for architects. “I did a lot of Embassy Suites and Ritz Carltons. [Then I] moved to Grants Pass and started doing sculptures of bears in town and doing murals throughout private homes and the public.” He expresses his affinity for both illustrating buildings and painting murals. “Now I’m getting older I’m up on scaffolding. I should’ve done it reverse,” he jokes.
Of course to anyone––even to Eding––painting a large mural on an entire side of a building is complicated and focused work, but he says, “I make it look easy.” However, the truly hard parts for him are the preparations that go into the project. “Laying it out is the hard part. I do a grid on there.” Before prepping the surface, he sketches out the piece separately, to which he says, “It usually comes out a way I picture or draw it up. What I paint I feel like I’m right up in that place.”
His expectation is that those who see the mural on the Rogue River Pharmacy are reminded of the rich history that took place here. The project took him one month to finish. Past projects, like the Gateway Mural, are as large as 200 feet. Each one he creates is more immersive than the last, vibrant enough that anyone can feel like he can step right into the picture.
Anyone can find Eding’s work throughout the Rogue Valley, especially in Rogue River and Grants Pass, where most of his public murals and bear sculptures are located. The exciting part is seeing what mural Eding is going to paint next, and where.
Medicine Show Mural at Rogue River Pharmacy
506 E Main St., Rogue River