New mural project complete in Old Forge
Living ADK and View, the Center for Arts and Culture, have teamed up to create a new mural that is hanging on the side of Souvenir Village by the five corners/Point Park.
New mural project complete in Old Forge
OLD FORGE — Living ADK and View, the Center for Arts and Culture, have teamed up to create a new mural that is hanging on the side of Souvenir Village by the five corners/Point Park. The mural was designed and painted by Char Miller, a View summer intern and current Rochester Institute of Technology graphic design student, over the course of multiple days during the first week of August.
The community mural project started as part of the “It’s Happening in Herkimer Campaign,” an ongoing program designed to share small, grassroots ideas around Herkimer County to highlight positive efforts taking place in towns around the county. After learning about the campaign, it quickly became apparent to LivingADK that the Town of Webb needed to be a part of the picture. After securing the funds from the Herkimer campaign, the idea was simple: find a spot in town where lots of eyes would be, gather the necessary supplies, and find an image that could celebrate the town.
“The mural idea just seemed like a no-brainer, since Old Forge has many art resources for such a small town. We also have this storied Adirondack history as a destination town and this seemed like a worthy way of celebrating that lineage,” says mural organizer and LivingADK Community Development Specialist Dan Kiefer-Bach.
With the concept in place, Kiefer-Bach reached out to a natural arts partner, View, to help execute the vision. View has been bringing the arts to the Adirondacks for over 70 years and was happy to join in on the effort. As an ongoing goal, View tries to make the arts accessible to everyone, so the opportunity to not just display such a large painting in the center of town, but to create the piece in the public eye was uniquely exciting.
Char Miller, one of View’s talented summer interns, was assigned to head up the project. In creating the final design, Miller was tasked with making something that would be universally appealing and a vision that would inspire both local pride and immediate excitement for the thousands of visitors that pass by the wall. After some thought, Miller turned to the past to find the right idea.
“I did a bit of a deep dive and found my way onto this 1945 postcard on the Town of Webb Historical Society website that was taken from the top of Bald Mountain overlooking the Fulton Chain of Lakes. I fell in love with the feeling of it, the nostalgia of it all,” Miller says. “I ran with the idea of nostalgia from the 1940’s era and how the Town of Webb has been a tourist destination for so long. The beauty of the Bald Mountain overlook captures the longstanding interaction between the people and these forests and why the Adirondacks are such a special place. I then did a combination of two existing typefaces so that the wording was unique, classy, and clean. My favorite part of the mural was interacting with the public as I was painting it. It was hot, a lot of hours, and a lot of work, but seeing the kids’ faces light up when I asked if they wanted to help made it worthwhile. … At one point, I think we had almost 10 kids painting on it at once. … There was this one girl that was probably eight years old and was carefully painting around the “G.” I overheard her after telling her family, ‘When we come back next year, I will know I painted that part.’ That was the best feeling.”
To see pictures of the mural in its many stages and a time lapse of its creation, visit View’s or Living ADK’s Facebook pages (@viewarts and @LivingADK). If anyone would like to donate to this or future community art projects, visit livingADK.org/donate.
Other key groups who helped make this mural possible are Gallery 3040, which donated most of the paint, and Souvenir Village, for allowing the mural to be hung from their building. The mural will stay up until the snow starts to fall, at which point it can be taken down and stored. As for the mural project, the future holds endless possibilities. LivingADK and View will be looking into several ways to continue bringing art into the local communities.
“It all started as a community pride thing, a way to bring together residents, businesses and visitors under the same banner,” Kiefer-Bach says. “What better way to create a sense of place than with public art? It unites us together and will bring smiles to all ages for years to come.”
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