ANITA BRETT beside the restored mural of the Oakley Community Church

(Courtesy Photo)


  Oakley Community Church, founded in approximately 1888, has had a painted mural of Jesus Christ on its wall behind its altar for more than 25 years. Substantial church renovation, some fifteen years ago, saw the wall that houses the painting covered with drywall with a hole cut for the mural, around which a frame was built. An unidentifiable artist, who used acrylic, painted the mural on the wallpaper.

  Recently, noticeable tears and other indications of ageing resulted in the church contacting the Shiawassee Arts Council and this led to a referral to East Lansing-based art professional Anita Brett. After visiting the church to evaluate the mural’s aging and restoration potential, Anita concluded it would be prohibitively expensive to remove the mural from the wall and mount it on another substrate.

  Anita undertook a three-day restoration of the painted mural that involved a three-step process. First, the mural was cleaned – including the backing behind the open cracks – and then glue was injected into the blistered areas to adhere them to the substrate.  Second, acrylic paint was used to touch up the cracked areas.  Third, a matte finish varnish was applied to protect the mural.

  Oakley Community Church is grateful to Anita Brett for preserving a sentimental church treasure for many years to come and the church is also thankful for the Shiawassee Arts Council.  The restoration process is documented at

Oakley Community Church has Special Mural Restored  was last modified: July 11th, 2023 by Karen Elford