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A&A Signs and Murals

Image of Alex and Andrea Polzin
City:Emporia
Phone:620.344.1190
Email:[email protected]
Website:website currently under construction

About

We are a husband and wife mural team originally from Emporia, Kansas.

Andrea Polzin is our lead artist and designer. She works closely with our clients to design and finalize the artwork we paint all over the country. She graduated high school and immediately started apprenticing with her father, John Foster who has worked in graphic design for 30 years and has 40 years of traditional sign painting experience. She herself has been painting since she was very young and has taken it very seriously for the last 10 years.

Alex is our business and project manager who makes sure everything is in order from the lift we use to the paint and painting supplies we use for each job. Alex started as a business major and entrepreneur who then began his work as a painter when he met Andrea in 2010 and has thrown himself into the technical aspects of painting both signs and murals. Business is his passion, but he has really added his special touch to the lettering, design and painting of every mural we do.

We have a combined 25 years of experience together and are continuously dedicated to expanding our abilities and challenging ourselves to do our best work time and time again.

We have completed projects with small communities such as our own Emporia and the surrounding area, Medicine Lodge and as far as Cocoa, Florida and are currently making our plan to install a 20’x5′ mural in Bridgeport, Connecticut this December 2022. We have so much planned for 2023 here in Kansas already it would be amazing to have the opportunity to collaborate with other towns and communities here and all over the USA.

We pride ourselves on creating high quality artwork with high quality paint made specifically for murals. We want to create value for our small and large communities that will stand the test of time and against the elements. We know every piece of art that is commissioned is a major investment in the town itself and we want to contribute to it being around for as long as possible.

For these reasons we also go above and beyond in prep and making sure everything is cleaned well and applied in a way that will protect the building from moisture as well as using paint that is rated lightfastness 1 & 1+ primarily so we can ensure the mural looks good and lasts for as long as possible.

Community Activity Information

We successfully planned and executed a community color-by-numbers at Earthly Delights here in Emporia that drew over 300 people from all over the world. We held it during the September First Friday art walk which was happening during the Disc Golf worlds cup and had people participating from all over the nation as well as from over seas. In fact there were a large amount of international students that came and participated from our local college Emporia State University. The project planned was finished long before the event was done so Andrea improvised on-site an entire other wall and continued the artwork so more people could participate.

Educational Activity Information

We have spoken with many students and student organizations from 3-12th grades and into college age. We typically talk about the process of creating a mural, from design to prep and execution of your plan on the wall. We would be open do doing public demonstrations as well as community projects which as I said before have been wildly popular in our experience. Having an opportunity to participate in large scale art brings a level of pride to the community for having a hand in the creation of a piece of work that gets to be enjoyed by the public for years to come.

Program Fees

We typically run between $12 per square foot and $20 per square foot depending on quality of the wall as well as detail of the design. We then require half up front upon agreeing on design and getting in the schedule so we can start on getting supplies and materials lined up for the job. Each job is different though and may require different pricing options.

Other Restrictions

We have very few restrictions of this kind. We travel often for our work and have no problem spending anywhere between a week and a month in any given place and love submerging ourselves into the community that is hosting us. Our only catch in this is to have at least a month or two to plan before hand to make sure we can source the materials we need for the job and to make sure the design is agreed on by the committees and communities hosting us as painters.

Information on Past Projects

“Greetings from Emporia” was our first large scale mural done at home and we are so proud of it. Alex worked tirelessly with the city and state historic society for six months to ensure that the historic brick would not be harmed or compromised with the project. We started in September of 2021 and had it completed in 8 days. We worked with evergy to turn off the buildings power when it was convenient to the owners of the business in the building so we could safely work and not jeopardize ourselves or the property. We used TSP and distilled water to wash the wall then applied Loxon masonry primer to the proper area. That took about three days. We then used Nova Color mural paint to lay in the design. We work primarily with brush and roller, but we are both able to use a sprayer and plan to incorporate that into our future work. We used a transparency projector to shoot the design onto the primed surface and then it took us five days to paint in the full color design.

“Fort Scott Tigers” Both of these tigers were painted in 2015 in Fort Scott, Kansas. The larger tiger with the lettering was supervised by Andrea’s father, John Foster who has 40 years of experience in traditional hand painted signs. We used zinsser primer as a base and sherwin williams paint to complete the mural in about 4 days. We then returned 3 months later and completed the smaller tiger in 24 hours using zinsser primer as a base, and 5 cans of sherwin williams paint.

“Medicine Lodge” We had so much support from this small community when coming in to this project. We submitted an initial concept for a call to artists we stumbled upon and were so excited when we got the call that we had won the project. We spent approximately three months working back and forth with Barber County United and the Chamber of Commerce to hone the design to be something that fit well into their community. We then received their half up front and got them in the schedule. This piece is 23’x65′ and took us two weeks to complete. The city initially supplied us with scaffolding but then found a community businessman who generously donated their lift for the remaining ten days which made the job about a million times easier. They also helped us by having someone disconnect the street light next to the wall for a few days so we could get the design projected onto the wall. We projected it about three times with our transparency projector to make sure we knew exactly where to prime (as we did an exclusion of the lettering of “Medicine Lodge”. We did this so it would be easily readable, no matter what happens to the color of the mural in the next 20 years.) and then to get our design outlined onto the primed surface.

The community was super gracious, many of the residents drove passed daily to shout encouragement and excitement. They had an unveiling ceremony and we got to meet a lot of the town. It was an amazing opportunity and really showed wgy we love what we do and the impact it can have on the morale of a place. We are still hearing how much the town loves this piece and have been invited back to do another mural early next year. We actually got several more jobs in the community after having developed these relationships and have been contacted by a couple other towns to see if we could come work with them. We are so excited for these opportunities.

“Earthly Delights” We got contacted about two weeks before the first friday we actually executed this project by Kaila Mock at Emporia First Friday. We had discussed this concept about a month earlier and thought it would be cool but had no solid plans for it. She asked if there was any way we could orchestrate a color-by-numbers for the art walkers to come participate in. We said, “Absolutely we can,” and we immediately got to work planning and designing. We had the design planned for 15 colors that Andrea mixed on site. We had to come prep the building as it was only about 80% painted the base green and then we came and laid out the design with a king size sharpie so that everyone could clearly see the design and the number associated with each space. We personally painted everything over 8 foot so that participants wouldn’t have to get on a ladder. We also provided a 4×8 panel with a cute simple design for the children under 12 to go to town on and oh my God did they. I would not recommend having children under 12 participate on your community mural, but I DO recommend having a space for those kids to play with water soluble paint, because they love it but have not yet learned to paint in the lines. Anyway, we arrived two hours early on the day of the art walk to prepare the supplies and mix paint and started having people arrive a half hour early. At our busiest part of the evening I’d say there were 30 people painting simultaneously and at least another 40 spectators but overall I’d say we had at least 300 hands touch that wall that night. Like I said in a previous section, Andrea extended the design to the third wall which we had not initially included in the design so that people could get in to some painting as they arrived as the sheer amount of participants completed the prepared design in about two hours. We came back a day or two later to finesse and clean up as well as to add a bit of detail. We absolutely loved this job. It was a lot of prep, and a lot of mental energy expended to complete it in such a short amount of time and coordinating so many people was a challenge with just the two of us, but we both consider it a great success.

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