"Our Town"

As you approach the mural from a distance, it’s bright colors catch the eye, drawing you closer until the colors resolve into a vibrant vision of Bangor, as seen through the eyes of children. This birds-eye view of the parks, play grounds and public buildings brings to mind the words of Pablo Picasso:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Mural-making is a dynamic means to engage young artists, equipping them with a strong sense of self, knowledge of their potential, and a connection to the world around them. Through collaboration with the Bangor Beautification committee, students created a mural that reflects the community’s culture, history, and vision.

The project provided students with:

• the opportunity to work in collaboration with professional mural artists on a real world project
• to develop, critical thinking, and design skills
• to learn relevant life and job skills through collaborative teamwork, planning and creative problem solving.

The “Our Town” mural was created in Totts Gap studios on portable panels on Tuesday afternoons in the spring of 2009. After familiarizing students with mural history, methods and materials, discussion began using brainstorming activities (sketching, word games, etc.)

From this process the mural subject emerged. The final design utilized the children’s first hand observations, photographic research, and 3-D internet maps.

Now the process of painting could begin, first by transferring the image, utilizing the age old methods of scaling, providing a chance for students to absorb basic lessons in proportion and fractions.

With the design in place, children could paint freely and expressively. Choosing from a bright palette of colors, adding details as they saw fit.

The installed mural is a public accomplishment the students can be proud of. Their creative efforts instill an energy in a re-emerging downtown, instilling pride of ownership in our youngest residents.