People walking through downtown Hudson will see an interactive mural of First Street and Village Way that its creators say was designed to promote hope and unity.
The mural, titled “The Wonder Within”, is the result of an effort by First & Main Hudson and Door # 2 Art Studio to bring artwork into the community, according to Debra Sherman, Marketing Director of First & Main Hudson .
“When you drive over there it looks amazing,” Sherman said. “It catches your eye.”
Adriana Caso, director of Door # 2 Art Studio, said the idea for the fresco began “with the desire to promote unity and hope through beauty”.
She noted that the mural is designed to show how beauty can help people get through these difficult times.
“Beauty inspires hope,” Caso said. “Beauty thwarts darkness. Beauty thwarts ugliness.”
The mural is made up of three polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels each measuring 5 feet wide and 10 feet high. As a result of a community project to paint the panels, they were attached to the side of a brick building housing the Ann Taylor LOFT store at 81 First St. The mural was unveiled at a reception before the first Summer Music Night concert on July 9.
The mural depicts a girl peeling a sheet of bricks as if it were wallpaper to reveal a nature scene with trees, flowers, birds and a stream.
Caso explained that people can interact with different components of the image.
“Behind the brick lies the beauty within; a colorful and imaginative landscape that we hope will encourage people to take photos together as they discover all the creative ways to interact with it and with each other. “said Caso. “Someone can pull out the brick while another flies a kite, kisses the frog, or pops the bubble.”
Caso said she believed the mural encouraged exploration.
“We hope people will be drawn to the idea that there are often wonderful things to discover below the surface of the places and people we meet if we take the time to explore,” said Caso.
Sherman said the mural was “super interactive”, “very inviting” and provided a backdrop for taking selfies.
“You can see different parts of it that you might not have noticed at first glance,” Sherman said. “There is certainly a lot of depth to it. “
How did it happen
First & Main and Door # 2 Art Studio worked together last year on canvas murals, two of which still hang in the open windows between Tomato Grill and J. Jill.
This effort was launched, Caso said, because “we wanted to bring something light and hopeful to the community” during the difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community members had the opportunity to help paint these murals, and then Caso and his team finished the job.
While the installation of these murals took place last year, Caso said she spotted the many empty walls on buildings downtown and told Sherman: “The city is just screaming for a painting. mural. “
The two agreed to work together again to create a larger mural in the city. In the spring, Sherman asked Caso for a design and concept description. Caso submitted his plan, Sherman liked it and the project was soon underway.
As with the smaller murals, Caso said she wanted the larger mural to give people a sense of hope and unity and that there was a desire for the business to be a community project. The two organizations hosted a community painting day in May, during which people were able to stop to paint the three signs installed on First & Main Green in downtown Hudson.
“People could come and help,” Sherman said. “[It was] much like painting by number, fill in different small sections. “
Caso estimated that more than 100 people helped paint the mural this Mother’s Day weekend.
The panels were then brought back to Door # 2 Art Studio at the Christ Community Chapel facilities along State Route 91 (Main Street) for additional paintings by Caso and his team, as well as other members of the community. . Caso said Door # 2 Art Studio is funded and supported by the church.
Caso said she has studio opening hours every Thursday and noted that there were people who made repeat visits to paint different sections.
“A lot of people wanted to come and paint on it,” said Caso, who estimated that more than 150 people were involved in the creation of “The Wonder Within”.
Caso added that she and the two artists in her studio – Sara Hughes and Janie Ellingsen – helped put the finishing touches on the mural. Caso said she painted everyone, while Hughes painted the bricks and a former studio student painted the bubbles.
“It has become a real team effort,” said Sherman.
After spending about two months painting the panels, First & Main’s maintenance team put screws in the mortar and attached the panels to the side of the LOFT in July, according to Caso. The paint has a UV coating to help preserve the artwork when displayed outdoors, Sherman said.
Sherman said his organization is honored to work with Door # 2 Art Studio.
“The vibrancy of this mural aligns with our continued commitment to creating the best experience for residents and guests of Hudson and provides a wonderful backdrop for our many special events in Hudson with unlimited interactive opportunities,” said Sherman. . “We look forward to continuing to bring the community together through artistic collaborations at First & Main. “
Sherman said work will continue to find other locations for the art installations.
“We know it’s something that brings people together and is important to the community,” Sherman said.
Journalist Phil Keren can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter at @keren_phil.