A tree grows in Rockport

Second panel to be added to transfer station mural

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Feb 19, 2014
Photo by: Caroline Albertson Sweet Tree Arts students frame their completed mural, which was installed at the transfer station in Rockport just before Christmas. A second panel will be created this spring.

Hope — In a few weeks, Sweet Tree Arts will host its second community mural class for area students, said Director Lindsay Pinchbeck.

The first session, last October, had six elementary school students, plus intern Caroline Albertson, 18, who is taking a year off from school between high school and college, Pinchbeck said. The artists were all girls: Frances Ostensen, Sophie Ryan, Mabel Glick, Hazel Crabtree, Hayley Spear, Faith McMillan and Daisy Ingraham, and most already knew each other.

Pinchbeck said she wanted the class to understand the process of making a piece of public art. She had talked with Jim Guerra, manager of the Mid-Coast Solid Waste transfer station at 90 Union St. in Rockport about installing a mural at the transfer station. He liked the idea and offered space on the side of a recently painted building there, she said.

After discussing the theme for the project with the class, she and Albertson approached the Board of Directors of Mid-Coast Solid Waste for their approval. They, too, thought it was a good idea. They suggested that the mural be designed so that panels could be added, Pinchbeck said.

As part of the process of developing the mural, the girls talked about how art could inspire people to recycle and protect the environment, she said.

The group decided to create a tree, with more to come from future classes. The girls lay down on the plywood that would contain the mural, and Pinchbeck drew around their arms for branches. Their bodies formed the trunk of the tree. Later, they added birds, flowers and animals, giving the tree a festive appearance. They used acrylic paints, which were later sealed with polyurethane for protection from the weather, she said.

The completed mural was installed at the transfer station just before Christmas, Pinchbeck said. Not only did the girls have fun, “it was a really great learning opportunity for them,” she said.

Albertson also took photos and kept a blog about the process of creating the mural that can be viewed on the Sweet Tree website at sweettreearts.org.

The spring session of community murals will take place on six Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. starting March 4, with teacher Alexis Iammarino. For more information, call Pinchbeck at 542-8008 or visit the website.

The artists become one with their art, lying on the plywood where their mural will be painted so teacher Lindsay Pinchbeck can trace their arms and bodies for the branches and trunk of the tree, respectively. (Photo by: Caroline Albertson)
Intern Caroline Albertson helps paint a mural with an ecological theme for the transfer station in Rockport last fall. Albertson also photographed and blogged about the process of creating the mural. (Courtesy of: Lindsay Pinchbeck, Sweet Tree Arts)
Sweet Tree Arts students admire the nearly completed mural they helped design for the Mid-Coast Solid Waste transfer station in Rockport. The panel was installed at the end of December. (Photo by: Caroline Albertson)
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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.

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