Easthampton Mural (2008)

A mural I designed and painted (with a lot of help) on Cottage Street, Easthampton, Massachusetts (duh), across from the old theater on the side of Whiskerz Pub. Yes, that’s right. Whiskerz with a Z, holmes. Funded by Easthampton City Arts with the support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Also sponsored by The Williston Northampton School and Hampton Wholesale Auto, LLC. Above photo by Bob Stern for The Republican. Some related links:
* Read reviews of the Easthampton Mural (there are some doozies)
* Flickr set of painting day with volunteer crew
* Springfield Republican interview
* Daily Hampshire Gazette interview


SKETCH (late ’07): Here’s my initial sketch. Sharpie pens over a bad copy of the provided photo because my printer was running out of ink. I forget why I decided against the lowercase “e” (possibly confusion with some commercial brand I’m forgetting right now). In the long run I’m glad I did though, because something so simple to draw on a piece of paper would have been INCREDIBLY hard to pull off in real life with pencils and string and paint (a perfectly round 2-story tall lowercase e? Yikes.)

Early color concept.


PROPOSAL (late ’07): This is my proposal mockup image, bodged together in Photoshop over a photo provided by ECA (the photo proved to show a distorted perspective, so there were certain things that needed changing when paint finally started hitting the wall). My proposal was about as no-bullshit as the design itself. I promised no silly historical collages, no sunsets over lakes. I promised quick completion due to the design’s simplicity (turned out true). I promised easy upkeep (4 colors+mostly flat areas of color = anyone can touch it up). Anyway, they went for it. This was the image that ended up in local papers, causing a great mini-uproar on local forums.


COLOR TEST (May 27th, 2008): Workin’ it out on a hunk of sheetrock. Lots of trips to Florence Paint to buy them lil’ sample jars. Getting that tan/beige color turned out to be a big pain in my butt. Benjy Moore, ya’all!


SKETCH DAYS (May 29th & 30th): Sketching took hours. Hours and lots of rudimentary math. Lots of little tricks and shortcuts I was suddenly recalling from my high school freshman drafting class, back when they still taught kids on Vemco locking ruler arms. Lots of string. Lots of mistakes. I ground down 1.5 pencils and ruined 8 or 9 old Sharpies. Worked a day and a half and still didn’t get to some of the tippity-top of the design, but on the upside we did start painting the low stuff. As you can see, the wall is so large, it even makes a Ford Festiva look small. Crazy!


PAINTING DAY (June 1): Gosh dang I’m tired. Awesome crew of friends – Matt Dube, Barry Daggett, Sturgis Cunningham, Sarah S., Nate Duval, Mister Reusch, Kendra McDade, and Katherine T. I can’t believe we got so much done in one day. I say again: Gosh Dang. Super-special thanks to Casey & Dave at Manchester Rental for all of their scaffolding hauling and help. Way more photos on Flickr .


THE UNVEILING: A surprising amount of people showed up. Cool! Ice cream and cake and the mayor! Cool! Check out that plaque! A few more photos on the ECA blog.

UPDATE: August, 2011: I drove by the mural a week or so ago, and I gotta say, it still looks brand-frickin’ new! I had mixed feelings back in ’08 because the brick wall was in sort of terrible shape, but dang. I hereby recommend and enthusiastically endorse Benjamin Moore paint! For All Your Painting Needs!

About Tom Pappalardo

http://www.tompappalardo.com
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