In 2010, the Route 106 RR underpass reconstruction left a fine railroad bridge and a long, blank wall. A perfect “canvas” for an outdoor mural?
The theme, and the challenge, was to put some of the history of Mansfield on this 462 foot long, 4175 square foot clean, white concrete wall.
The committee selected the concept and design presented by Ian Gaudreau, a local artist and Mansfield High School graduate.
Then the work for the committee really began. The members had to promote the project so that residents and town officials would be on board about the benefits of a bold and colorful art piece — on a busy street — so near the train station. There were concerns about graffiti and drivers’ distraction, but those gradually gave way to growing interest and increasing support. At the next Town Meeting a unanimous vote of approval put The Mural Project into high gear.
The committee raised all the funding needed from local residents, corporations, businesses, and grants. The mural offered unique fundraising opportunities: A donation of $100 ensured that a name would be painted on one of two bronze plaques or for $500 a face painted in the crowd at the horserace.
Painting the Mural started in 2013 and it was completed in the fall of 2015.
Mural Committee Members: (Chair) Nancy Wall; Scott Brigante, Director of Visual Arts, MHS; Ken Butler, Executive Director of Mansfield Music and Arts; Kevin McNatt, Mansfield Historical Society; Lisa Rogan
Resources: Every Day but Sunday, by Jennie F. Copeland; Images of America: Mansfield, by Kevin McNatt and Andrew Todesco; Ellen Cosgrove editing, Rich Morgan photography, Andrew Adamides and Erin Sweeney web design and update.
In collaboration with Keep Mansfield Beautiful, Mansfield Music and Arts Society, Mansfield Historical Society, and the residents and businesses of Mansfield, MA. Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA
© Copyright 2016
Ian Gaudreau, a graduate of Mansfield High School, 2000, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, 2004 researched, created, designed, and painted the mural. Visit Ian on Facebook.
His assistants included: Kelly Li, Marty Reynolds, Matt Dean, Lucas Kolasa, Deb Anderson, Julia Cox, Becky Sheerin, Kathy Devlin, Rosemary Marchetta, Jessie O’Connell
Volunteers: Alyson Bailey, Anthony Malani, Bailey Levetin, Josh Marohn, Lauren Egizio, Tina Sylverio.
Artist Concept and Design
Ian’s conception for the Mural is in two parts, side by side. The right half depicts important and unique historical aspects of the town that make the history of Mansfield unique. The importance of the geese and the train to the economic vitality and the everyday life.
On the left we see an allegory of elements that represent sports, veteran, the arts and education-important activities that have helped make Mansfield a strong community and wonderful place to live. Notable historical figures and local residents represent all these elements.
The Mural wall is 462 feet long and ranges from 2 feet high to 13 feet high, providing about 4,175 square feet of paintable surface. As the Gateway to Downtown, it faces the town’s North Common and train station.
First, the wall had to be cleaned carefully and then marked off as a grid of one-foot squares. Ian did his preliminary designs and layouts in sections on the computer using a one-inch square grid then enlarged those sections to correspond with the one-foot squares on the wall.
The figures were then laid out in purple.
Then the color, shading and fine details were added.