Paint your way into Potsdam history

Potsdam historic buildings being recreated in community mural. Photo: Conant Neville

Potsdam historic buildings being recreated in community mural. Photo: Conant Neville

With local food, music, and community events, Potsdam’s Summer Festival drew crowds from across the county last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Vendors and families celebrated the arrival of this much-anticipated local celebration–and it all happened under blue skies and sunshine.

One organization found a unique way to commemorate the rich history of the town.

All weekend, paintbrushes and trays outside the St. Lawrence County Arts Council storefront turned passersby into artists, where community members were encouraged to paint individual tiles of a mosaic for a mural of historic buildings on Main Street.

Robert Fowler, a SLC Arts Council employee explained the project’s goal, “We want everyone to see – by their own individual little six-by-six painting—that put together–the community is so strong.” He emphasized the importance of the artistic interpretation of each community member, “You are the artist. You are the inspiration.”

Beginning work on "mosaic" tiles. Photo: St, Lawrence County Arts Council

Beginning work on “mosaic” tiles. Photo: St, Lawrence County Arts Council

Store owners, children, vendors, and visitors gathered around the plywood canvas outside the storefront to paint small squares based on a photograph of the street taken in 1918. With supplies donated by Lowes, friends, neighbors, and strangers showcased their artistic talents and brought the plain white canvas to life over the three day festival.

Now I really want to see if so many people working on little bits of a mural can really create a coherent piece. It’s expected to be finished later this summer. Contact the SLC Arts Council to find out about other opportunities to participate in the mural project.

Once completed, the piece will hopefully hang in the new Potsdam Chamber of Commerce on Elm Street.

We know about another community mural project that started a couple of years ago in North Creek, is there anything similar happening in your neck of the woods?

 

More from the St. Lawrence County Arts Council tracking of the project:

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Conant doing his part for the community effort. Photo: Molly Plunkett

Conant doing his part for the community effort. Photo: Molly Plunkett

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One Response to “Paint your way into Potsdam history”

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  1. Bob Falesch says:

    Now I really want to see if so many people working on little bits of a mural can really create a coherent piece.

    This process is kind of “exquisite-corpse”-ish, isn’t it, even though other nearby tiles are visible to one currently painting. Some past corpses have probably been declared “coherent”, but I wonder if that was the real objective.

    Your upside-down shades fit my image of Buñuel, Dali, & Co.