Barre Rotary’s Summer Street Mural project was completed on a lovely summer Saturday on June 8th. After more than two years of design, planning, fundraising and collaboration, the Mural Wall installation went off without a hitch before interested members of the public and many of those who had worked on the project. Spearheaded by Barre Rotary, the Mural Wall Committee included Rotarians Caroline Earle and Ted Goulette, Mark Browning of Stone & Browning, Sue Higby of Studio Place Arts, local artist and teacher Jim Lund, and Cara Hansen of Downstreet. The Committee identified Kristine Chartrand, an art teacher at U-32, to design the mural. The artist’s instructions were to incorporate the four seasons of Vermont and to embed dozens of “hidden” elements of Vermont and Barre history, as identified by the Vermont Granite Museum and the Vermont History Center. Ace Nelson’s Hardware donated ten gallons of paint for the mural and Chartrand incorporated those ten colors into her final design. The Vermont Granite Museum agreed to house the project for the 2018-2019 winter. Once indoors, the Vermont Paletteers took over the massive painting project, staying true to Chartrand’s design and bringing their expert and artistic experience to bear on the design, with other Rotarians and members of the public lending additional painting support. The City of Barre and Public Works Director Bill Ahearn agreed to repair the dilapidated Summer Street retaining wall and install the wood strapping for easy installation of the mural. Mayor Lucas Herring and Director Ahearn were on hand the day of the installation to lend a steady hand and continued support, with Mark Browning heading up the installation team. Barre Rotary held a tailgate party, selling hot dogs and grilled cheese and other goodies to interested and hungry passers-by. Barre Rotary’s goal is for Vermont elementary and middle school teachers to use the mural as an interactive and public art aid in teaching Vermont history to local school students. Make sure to check out the mural on your next summer day stroll, and see if you can identify all of the historical elements within the mural!
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