CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nearly every time Rob Cleland works on the mural he's painting on the wall of the Fayetteville Physical Therapy building, someone walking past pauses to tell him what a good job he's doing.
"I start to wonder if he's ever going to get it done because so many people are stopping to talk to him," said Shea Wells, founder of the Fayetteville Arts Coalition, which is sponsoring the project.
Cleland's fans can meet him Friday at "Meet the Mural Artist," an event hosted by the coalition. The meet-and-greet begins at 6 p.m. Friday at 103 Keller Ave., above the Secret Sandwich Society.
Cleland, who lives in Charleston, will have his artwork on display and draw caricatures for guests, and several local artists will be there, too.
"[It's] just a chance for people that may not want to stop and bug me while working," Cleland said. "They can come and say hey."
As of Wednesday, the mural was about a fifth of the way done, Cleland said. He's hoping to have it finished in September, and the latest completion date would be Bridge Day in October.
Cleland began working the weekend of June 16 and paints all day on Fridays and Saturdays. He said this mural differs from others he's done because it's more "painterly" and is going to be full color.
Wells and Cleland came up with the design for the Fayetteville mural together, which will have kayakers, a mountain biker, a rock climber and a band, Cleland said.
"It incorporates a lot of the natural elements of the area," he said.
The most recent picture of the mural on the coalition's Facebook page shows a painting of a little girl dressed in bright colors, painting the coalition's logo.
What the finished product will look like is a surprise, but Wells said it represents nearly every aspect of the Fayetteville community.
Wells said she was concerned about the mural at first, because people tend to have differing opinions about art, but the town has showed its support since the project started.
"Everyone's just so psyched to see something like this going on," Wells said.
Friday's event is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted, and proceeds go toward the coalition's future projects.
Reach Alison Matas at alison.ma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5100.