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Makeover set for Mill Street mural

Sandblasting progress could be seen at the Mill Street Mural last week. Plans to repaint a new mural are well underway. Several people in town coordinated the effort. Jim Alden informed the Select Board earlier this month that the new mural will hopefully be completed during the art show on September 29. The mural is 250 feet long and eight feet high. Darin Wipperman/The Littleton Courier. (click for larger version)
September 19, 2012
LITTLETON — The 2,000 square feet that make up the Mill Street Mural are getting ready for a facelift. With the cooperation of Mother Nature, the rebirth may be complete during the Littleton Art Show on Sept. 29.

At their Sept. 10 meeting, Jim Alden informed the Board of Selectmen that renovation of the existing mural was considered. "It just wasn't a feasible project," Alden said. "It was past the point of repairing," he noted in a discussion last week.

Alden informed the board that the mural is a "challenging space visually." The 250 feet of length limits what can be done to the mural. However, a small group of people worked together to come up with a new idea.

Greg Covell, Moocho Saloman, and Jason Tors helped bring the new idea together. Alden said that Covell had the creative eyes, Saloman offered connections to the art community, and Tors added his design.

Alden said that the dashed hopes of restoration led to a new determination to "start with a clean slate." On Monday Covell said that the group worked well together to come up with a new design.

It was determined that simply using the "Welcome to Littleon" phrase was inadequate. The letters would have spread too far across the mural's length.

As the new mural was considered, a focal point became the concept that Littleton has such a great main street. Alden noted that "Main Street of the White Mountains" will be in the middle of the mural, surrounded by "Welcome to Littleton" on both sides.

The abutments on either side of the mural are currently unpainted, except by some graffiti. Alden said that painting of those two spots will be part of the new mural.

The old mural was certainly showing signs of wear. Alden informed the board that the south-facing spot receives a barrage from the sun and the elements. He believes that the new mural should be varnished at least once every other year.

Some sanding will be necessary to ensure that new paint sticks to the wall, Alden said. He hopes the background colors will be done during the week before the art show, with lettering to follow.

Blue and green are prominent colors in the new design. Alden suggested that those colors "tie us to the river and the mountains."

At the Select Board meeting, Town Manager Fred Moody said that the town will chip in on some of the cost. Thanks to general building maintenance funds, Moody said, "We will be buying the paint." Alden believes some donations and volunteer labor will be available.

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