Making public art and brewing beer are creative processes, and the combination of the two is lending a splash of color to one of downtown Lebanon’s busiest intersections.

Standing in the 9th & Cumberland street parking lot of Lebanon’s Snitz Creek Brewery, well-known area painter Katie Trainer talked about the mural she is painting on the once drab storage container that houses the brewery’s canning operation … and the serious injury that indirectly led to the project.

Trainer fractured her dominant right shoulder in a bicycle accident last year, and suffered through multiple surgeries and a post-op infection that kept her from painting with her right hand.

Read More: Katie Trainer bounces back

She had projects lined up that couldn’t wait, so she taught herself to paint left-handed.

“After the first surgery, it was terrible,” she said. “I would paint for about 20 minutes with my left hand, then I had to lay down.” But, she added, “I had to finish a mural, so I finished it – left-handed.”

She’s now back to painting right-handed. “I’d say [the right shoulder] is like 70%.”

Trainer spent a lot of time convalescing at Snitz Creek, and said her medical catastrophe is what led to the mural.

“I knew a lot of people who work here and this was one of my healing hubs,” she said. “I know the brewer [Ryan Moncarz]. He told me about his idea for a mural, and I said ‘Let’s do it before the season changes.'”

Katie Trainer working on the Snitz Creek mural. (LebTown)

They came up with an idea based on the rainbow prism on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album, Dark Side of the Moon. The mug acts as the prism.

Trainer said the Pink Floyd idea led to a few puns. “Dark Side of the Beer, Beer Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Beer.”

Detail of the mural. (LebTown)

After graduating from Cedar Crest High School, Trainer trained as a magician at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair, then took her act on the road as a street magician, primarily in southern states.

She returned to Pennsylvania about five years ago, and learned mural painting through West Reading’s Elm Street program, where she was one of the first artists to display her work in its mural corridor.

Trainer estimates that she’s painted over 70 murals, and currently has four projects underway.

Read More: Muralist Katie Trainer finishes unity mural in downtown Lebanon

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...