Mural Project: Wall-Sized Outdoor Murals
The Mural Project was inspired by TRA, under the leadership of then-Executive Director Chattie Van Wert, and was created and carried out in a partnership of dedicated community members and businesses. The project turned large blank walls in the downtown area into large-scale art.
Two murals were created - one on the north wall of the Ti Barbershop building on Champlain Avenue, and the second on the retaining wall on Route 9N/Wicker Street in front of the Moses Luddington Hospital.
The first mural, on Champlain Avenue, was the result of a private building owner, Maryann Andrushko, who runs a barber shop in the building, wanting to improve the appearance of an unsightly downtown wall. TRA members recruited Ti High art teacher Britney (McCarthy) Shaw and her students to assist in the mural's design. Several student images were submitted, which were then reviewed by a team working with TRA, and one was chosen.
Art and technology came together on the task using Computer Aided Design (CAD) to apply grid lines of the scanned image of the mural on the wall. This measured points on the wall to identify the tops of mountains, overlaps of peaks, locations of bays and the start of treetops. Selected colors were then designated for each area on the grid to create a 'paint by number' picture.
Jim Beaty, Seddon Beaty, Patty Hogan, Keeley Andrushko and Maryann Andrushko completed the painting in three days using this paint by number grid. Vincent Smith consulted on color composition and Aubuchon Hardware provided the paint at cost. Paul Connery used his bucket lift to remove an old sign, patch the side of the building and spray the first layer of blue on the entire wall, serving as a base coat and creating the color of the sky. Bill Best brought his crew to setup scaffolding for the painters and repositioned it as painting progressed. Others participating in the mural project were Jay Fortino, June Curtis, Al Mattison, Sharon Reynolds of PRIDE, Crispin Shakeshaft, Linda Smyth and Emily Sola.
The second mural, on Route 9N/Wicker Street was painted with the help of a $550 grant awarded to TRA from the Essex County Arts Council. The grant application was written by Sharon Reynolds of PRIDE in collaboration with TRA.
The original image for this mural was a collaboration between Maura Jebb, a Ti High School senior, and Joan Pulling, a local professional artist. The project was a collaborative effort between TRA, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the Ti Highway Department and local citizens. These included Doug and Robin Trudeau, Art Hatfield, Jim Beaty, artist Maura Jebb, Maura's parents Paul and Maureen Jebb, Jan Pulling, Mark and Marcus Moser, and Chattie van Wert. Ticonderoga Paint and Decorating and Aubuchon Hardware provided product advice and materials.
The murals have brought art and color to their parts of the town, and have demonstrated the positive things that can be done through creativity, initiative, and teamwork.